On 27 March, the 35th ENCATC Cultural Happy Hour welcomed 31 guests coming from Belgium, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United Kingdom for an evening discovery of the works by Bulgarian born artist Zhivko Sedlarski.
In his first solo exhibition in Belgium presented by Inspiring Culture, the collection of sculptures in brass and steel, celebrates the world of Haute Couture. Guests learned about the events that inspired the artists shown work, his participation "Dialogue With Emperor Qin" (a current touring exhibition by Inspiring Culture), and his artistic collaboration with a refugee from Afghanistan.
This last point was of particular interest to the audience as most had participated earlier that day at the 6th ENCATC Academy on Culture in External Relations and “the question of culture in Europe’s refugee crisis”. As explained by Ed Liddle, Project Manager at Inspiring Culture, this collaboration is interesting for challenging perceived ideas of who can be called (or identified) as a migrant. The artist (Zhivko Sedlarski) was born in Bulgaria, but has lived and worked in France for over 30 years,. His work is of course inspired by the place that he now lives, but his ideas, approaches and thoughts are inherited from his personal history as a Bulgarian born artist. Sedlarski is currently collaborating with Sami Nouri, an artist and young fashion designer. Originally from Afghanistan and now living in France, Nouri is working under the tutelage of Jean-Paul Gaultier at the famous designer’s studio. Inspiring Culture thinks that this collaboration between two artists, both of whom came from very different backgrounds is an ideal example of a complete cultural exchange. It is also interesting to note that both artists are perhaps not the first sort of 'migrants' that come to mind when discussing and thinking about immigration. They are both, first and foremost, artists working at an international level drawing on their own unique personal histories, but who happen to live in a different country from which they were born.
Staying true to the Cultural Happy Hour spirit, the evening included time for networking accompanied by a cocktail and reception.