First made famous by the likes of André Breton, Salvador Dalí and René Magritte in the 1920s, surrealism is having a bit of a renaissance of late – especially in Belgium. From celebrating the tenth anniversary of the Musée Magritte Museum to the takeover by Charles Kaisin (@CharlesKaisin) at Maasmechelen Village, the Belgians do surrealism like no one else – after all it perfectly fits the nation’s independence of mind and its famously distinctive sense of humour.
Today the spirit of the art movement’s ability to find beauty in the unexpected and unconventional takes form in immersive installations that offer a contemporary spin on surrealist art. This summer, you can dive headfirst into a vibrant surrealist universe crafted by architect-designer Charles Kaisin at Maasmechelen Village in an exclusive art takeover that celebrates the ‘Best of Belgium’.
The elegant buildings and tranquil open-air spaces of the Village – the Belgium-based destination within The Bicester Village Shopping Collection and just an hour from Brussels – have been transformed as giant spheres in the colours of the Belgian flag adorn the Village’s clock and entrance tower, while Kaisin’s exclusively designed print dresses boutique facades and the Village streets.
Brussels’ iconic Manneken Pis landmark – a diminutive bronze statue of a boy urinating into a fountain – has also been recreated under Kaisin’s masterful eye. Reincarnated in the form of a six-metre 3D-printed version of the original statue, the largest of its kind to ever be created in Belgium, the figure towers over the Village’s main square.
As part of the takeover, which runs until 30 September, guests can also enjoy a new pop-up café, ‘Made in Belgium’ – also covered from floor to ceiling in Kaisin’s vibrant print – where you can try delicacies unique to the country, such as charcuterie and cheese platters, Belgian beers and much more. There’s even a ball pool on the invitation-only mezzanine level for an Instagram-worthy photo shoot.
Speaking about his inspiration for the installation, Kaisin says: “We have some great talent in Belgium, [but] too often we downplay it. I wanted to express that energy through this installation – this black, yellow and red design that brings people together.”
Discover the installation at Maasmechelen Village now and enjoy an extraordinary experience full of surprising pop-ups, delicious cuisine and, above all, exceptional art.
Visit ProudToBeBelgian.com for more information about the takeover and how to visit when you travel to Belgium.
Dive headfirst into a vibrant surrealist universe crafted by architect-designer Charles Kaisin at Maasmechelen Village