Meet the Artist: Michaël Borremans x Minoru Shimizu

Date(s) : January 11 (Saturday), 2014

Time : 2:00 - 3:30 pm

On January 11, the day after the reception, a talk event was held, during which the artist spoke with art critic Minoru Shimizu. The following is an excerpt (edited here for brevity).

Shimizu: How classical is your work?
Borremans: What I try to do is find colors that are based on natural pigments. I never paint on a white canvas. This is a technique derived from Baroque paintings. Painters at that time, like Rubens and Vélasquez, prepared the canvas with a layer of color that was integrated into the painting, so there was no need to apply paint over the entire surface.

S: You paint portraits, but they never seem to reflect the individual personality of the subject.
B: I don’t paint portraits as a classical painter would. I use them as figures in my universe. I’m not interested in the psychology of the person sitting in front of me.

S: Your works are intimate, but not personal, aren’t they?
B: Yes, that’s a very compact way to put it. I will use that later as a catch phrase.

S: Can you talk a little bit about the Belgium art and its history?
B: Traditional painting all started in Ghent. I don’t think Van Dyke invented it, but he made it workable. I’m proud of it. The country was founded in 1830. Every country has its history. Belgium was sometimes part of other countries such as France, Austria and Spain. That history has made Belgian people very flexible. Painters such as Brueghel and Bosch were working under Spanish reign. You could see in their work that they are laughing with it. They are a source of Surrealism.

Michaël Borremans
Michaël Borremans was born in Geraardsbergen, Belgium in 1963 and is currently living in Ghent. Since shifting from photography to painting during the mid-1990s, he has held exhibitions at leading museums and art spaces within Belgium and throughout the world, and has shown work at such international art fairs as the Berlin Biennale (2005). In recent years, he has extended his enigmatic vision into filmmaking, which he does in conjunction with his painting. In the summer of 2010, the Queen of Belgium commissioned Borremans to create a series of paintings that were placed on public view at the Royal Palace. In Japan, Borremans held the solo exhibition Earthlight Room at Gallery Koyanagi in 2008 and showed work at the Yokohama Triennale in 2011. Two of his works are in the collection of the National Museum of Art, Osaka.


The Hall at the Hara Museum of Contemporary Art


Free (museum admission is required)


80 people