Path of the elegance between the East and the West
23 April 2010 – 31 October 2010

The elegance declines here as the lead. If this theme is inspired by the beauty of the very house, it is advisable to assert in a more general way that the elegance constitutes a precious inheritance, a way of belonging to the world and to the others, the grace and the delicacy in the expression, in the gestures, in the recognized quality of the things which surround us.

Since the Antiquity, the elegance was widely passed on in the West by the oriental cultures, in particular thanks to the spice and the silk roads. As time goes by, this contribution considerably influenced the tastes, the behavior, the desire of refinement and the creative capacity of the European cultures, at the aesthetic, philosophic, poetic, ornamental and culinary levels. What is elegance, if not a way of welcoming the other one at home, as a precious host? And leaving, to create the conditions of an indispensable prerequisite to any real dialogue.

This first exhibition was thought as an itinerary of feelings, from Venice to the boundaries of Korea and Japan, evoking the multiple enrichments and the artistic exchanges between the West and the East. Giving the priority to a transverse approach, its designers propose an original path through the times, the various ways of expression and the cultures which were crossed by these mutual influences since thousands of years.

The exhibition gathers numerous works and objects coming from various public and private, Belgian and international collections, among which :

The Museum of Decorative Arts of Paris,
The Print Department of the Royal Library of Belgium,
The Royal Museum of Mariemont (Belgium),
The Royal Museums of Art and History of the Cinquantenaire (Brussels),
The Archives of Modern Architecture (Brussels),
The Antaki Collection ( Syria),
The Boghossian Collection (Geneva),
The Cartier Collection (Geneva and Paris),
The Hermès Collection (Paris),
The William Leroy Collection (Brussels),
The Marcel and Zaïra Mis Collection (Brussels),
The Axel Vervoordt Collection (Flanders),
The N. Vrouyr Collection (Antwerp),
The Louis Vuitton Collection (Paris),

Many galleries : Nathalie Obadia Gallery (Brussels and Paris), Fifty One Fine Art Gallery (Antwerp), Pierre-Marie Giraud Gallery (Brussels), Emmanuel Perrotin Gallery (Paris), Guy Pieters Gallery (Knokke and Paris)), Thaddaeus Ropac Gallery (Paris), and the collectors who wished to remain anonymous.

Various contemporary artists take part to this exhibition. Besides works of the Koreans Lee Bul and Bang Hai-Ja, the Indian Rina Banerjee, the Chinese Wang Jin, the Japanese Ritsue Mishima, Kimura Yoshiro, Masao Yamamoto, Kimiko Yoshida and Issey Miyake, the Belgians Franck Christen, Wouter Deruyter, Muriel Emsens and Daniel von Weinberger, besides the Belgian-Palestinian Nedda El-Asmar or the English-Indian Anish Kapoor, the Armenian Armen Agop, the French Jean Girel, the Israelian Zadok Ben-David, the Turkish Ergin Covosoglu, the Boghossian Foundation has the pleasure to welcome an original work of the French plastics technician Jean-Michel Othoniel. Known for his Murano glass monumental necklaces, the artist conceived an exceptional freestanding sculpture, thought as a strong sign of welcome to the Villa Empain.

The Boghossian Foundation benefits from the support of the members of the Circle of Friends of the Villa Empain, as well as from several public and private partners, among which the Brussels-Capital Region, the National Lottery, the RTBF, the Architecture office François Marcq, Audi Belgium, ING Bank, the champagnes Piper-Heidsieck, the Conrad Hotel of Brussels.