Three open-air Contemporary Art festivals to be celebrated this summer in Flanders

Flanders’ contemporary art scene keeps inspiring

From May 2021, Flanders celebrates no less than three contemporary art festivals, all of which will be staged outdoors: Triennial Bruges in the medieval city of Bruges, Beaufort 21 on the Belgian coast, and Paradise in the creative city of Kortrijk. The contemporary art scene in Flanders continues to flourish beyond its festivals.

Press Release - Three open-air Contemporary Art festivals in Flanders.pdf

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TraumA © Jasper van het Groenewoud (1)
TraumA © Jasper van het Groenewoud (1)

Every three years Bruges provides the magnificent backdrop for the Bruges Triennial. This unique event brings contemporary art and architecture to the historic city centre, a unique UNESCO World Heritage Site. This year, thirteen global contemporary artists and architects will present their interpretations of the festival theme, via a series of original outdoor installations, in and around the city. The display will be free to view and open to the general public from 8th May to 24th October 2021.

This year’s festival theme is TraumA and sets out to explore the fine line between dreams and trauma, paradise and hell. The artists will reflect on this theme to create their contemporary art installations, which form a trail that aims to divert attention from public spaces and focus on some of Bruges’ hidden dimensions its and its residents.

Amongst the many installations, the public can look forward to wandering into Belgian architect, Gijs Van Vaerenbergh’s thought-provoking maze at Bruges’ Baron Ruzettepark. By Augustijnrei, artist Nadia Naveau will install a series of shiny masks bearing decorative and folkloric patterns alongside the water. Elsewhere, fellow Belgian. Hans Op de Beeck, will create a life-size monochrome carousel on the baroque façade of St Wallaburga. These and many other home-grown artists and architects will share centre-stage with many other noteworthy names from the international contemporary art scene.

Triennial Bruges is free to visit and is organised by Brugge Plus, Musea Brugge, Kenniscentrum vzw and Cultuurcentrum Brugge, commissioned by the City of Bruges. It is curated by a team comprising Till-Holger Borchert, Santiago De Waele, Michel Dewilde and Els Wuyts. The festival as aims to make both heritage and contemporary art accessible to everyone. ​ Specially created walks and tours for visitors with visual or hearing impairments have also been created, in collaboration with local partners.

For further information about Tirennial Brugge, visit
For the Virtual Experience of Triennial Brugge, visit
For further information about contemporary art in Bruges, visit

For pictures, click here

For the podcast "Triennial Bruges 2021 - Bruges: world heritage site with great plans for the future", click here


From May 7th at 10h00 CET a complete press platform will be available, including video interviews with artists and curators, new images, PDF of the catalog, and more. You can already register here.

If you are interested in receiving more information or would like to have a one-on-one interview with any of the artists and architects participating in the Bruges Triennale, don't hesitate to contact our press manager:
Anita Rampall
+44 (0)20 7299 3594


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I Can Hear It - Ivars Drulle © westtoer
I Can Hear It - Ivars Drulle © westtoer

Flanders boasts a breath-taking coastline stretching across nearly forty miles and provides the perfect venue for an open-air festival for contemporary arts, held every three years: Beaufort. From 27 May – 7 November 2021 there will be a plethora of stimulating and thought-provoking works of art on display, all inspired by the sea, stretching along the coastal banks, beaches and dunes.

This year will be Beaufort’s 7th festival and its curator, Heidi Ballet, has selected 21 contemporary international artists who will create their own unique work of art, to be placed in various locations along the entire Flemish coastline. The fact that man is subjected to nature’s will, is a central theme in this edition of this year’s festival. The artworks are inspired by local stories collected from both natural and human history.

Beaufort Triennial was first created in 2003. Works of art are selected from each festival to form part of the permanent Beaufort Sculpture Park, currently showing 30 works of art from earlier shows. After this year's event, a number of new sculptures will be selected to join the permanent collection, some of which are easily visible from a scenic journey along the region’s coastal tram, that runs all along the Flemish coast.

Beaufourt 21 is a free festival of contemporary arts, organised by the Province of West Flanders and Westtoer. Heidi Ballet is its curator.

For further information about ​ the permanent Beaufort sculpture park, visit
For further information about the exhibition Beaufort 2021, visit

For pictures, click here and here


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Visitors Guide_Beaufort21_EN.pdf

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Kortrijk’s Triennial will take place from 26th June to 24th October 2021. Entitled ‘Paradise’ , its name ​ is inspired by ​ individual interpretations of the utopian dream of paradise and invites artists to see and interpret how society can be improved for everyone. Paradise Kortrijk will invite a number of national and international contemporary artists to participate and reflect on modern questions by installing new and existing artworks in its dynamic city.

Located along the River Leie in West Flanders, Kortrijk prides itself on a rich heritage symbolised by its Broel Towers, its own Belfry and a 13th century UNESCO World Heritage Béguinage. Proud of a creative soul, it is renowned for a strong reputation in craftsmanship, quality design and entrepreneurship and was awarded with a UNESCO Creative Cities Network membership.

The festival is free to visit and aims to attract a wide audience including families and children. It is organised by the City of Kortrijk, Belgium and Be-Part. Its curators are Hilde Teerlinck and Patrick Ronse

For further information the exhibition Paradise Kortrijk, visit
For further information about the city of Kortrijk, visit

For pictures, click here

Press File_Paradise Kortrijk 2021_EN.pdf

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Paradise Kortrijk - Concept - English.pdf

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Artist List Preview - PARADISE2021.pdf

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Kortrijk - Creative City on the Leie.pdf

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Op Zoek Naar Utopia - Jan Fabre ©Westtoer ​
Op Zoek Naar Utopia - Jan Fabre ©Westtoer ​

Flanders is home to a buzzing art scene, and always has been. Centuries ago, the Flemish Masters Jan van Eyck, Pieter Bruegel and Pieter Paul Rubens changed the course of art history. Their countless contemporary successors are continuing this rich tradition today. Artists such as Jan Fabre, Luc Tuymans, Michaël Borremans and Ann Veronica Janssens are at the top of their field. At the same time, Flanders’ innumerable hot spots for contemporary arts such as Bozar in Brussels and galleries as Zeno X Gallery keep the spirit very much alive. The same goes for the many private collections and Foundations – for instance Verbeke Foundation. These many elements make Flanders the artistic epicentre it is today, a place where the arts help us reflect about the world today and tomorrow.

For further information please contact our press mananger Anita Rampall.


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Header image: Middelkerke, Simon Dybbroe Moller - copyright Jimmy Kets
Kortrijk image: Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam ©Toshiko Horiuchi MacAdam & Charles MacAdam

Anita Rampall

Press Manager – UK and Ireland, VISITFLANDERS









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Visitflanders is promoting Flanders as tourist destination. Flanders is the Northern part of Belgium.