2020.9.19(Sat.) - 2021.2.28(Sun.)



2020.9.19(Sat.) - 2021.2.28(Sun.)
10:00-18:00(until 20:00 on Fridays and Saturdays, until 17:00 January 2 and 3)


21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa


Adults ¥1,200 (¥1,000)
Students ¥800 (¥600)
18 and Under ¥400 (¥300)
65 and over ¥1,000 (¥1,000)

* ( ) indicate advance ticket prices.
*Price includes same-day admission to the collection exhibition being held concurrently (October 17, 2020–Sunday, February 28, 2021)


Mondays (except September 21, November 23, January 11), September 23, November 24, December 29–January 1, January 12

About purchasing dated-entry tickets:
Admission will be restricted to a specific date to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. Please purchase a ticket for the desired admission date in advance on the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa website.
・Select your desired admission date and purchase a reserved ticket.
・Show the QR code screen from your purchase or a printout of the page in order to enter to the exhibition.
Reserved tickets will be available from 10:00 September 1 until 23:59 on the day before the exhibition viewing date.

Please note
・Reserved tickets cannot be used outside the specified admission date. Be sure
to enter within the date indicated on the ticket.
・The number of reserved tickets sold for each date is limited (availability on a first come, first served basis).
・Same-day tickets will be available each day, however we highly recommend
purchasing a reserved ticket ahead.
・Purchased tickets cannot be refunded.
・Please see the museum website for other details.

For More Information:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

Both Michaël Borremans and Mark Manders are known to the world for unique and unconventional expression grounded in the proud traditions of European art. The 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa is now delighted to present “Double Silence,” an exhibition that will see the works of these two artists occupying the same space for the first time.

The wave of globalization that gathered momentum from the end of the 20th century began in the west, and proceeded to wash up in various parts of the world, making an impact wherever it broke and simultaneously sucking up myriad things, material and otherwise, as well as people, to form a heaving swell that now covers the entire globe. What we refer to as “contemporary art” shares the same trajectory as this mighty torrent of people, things and ideas. Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the subsequent multipolarization of art, the degree to which art possesses the unique qualities of particular regional cultures and histories has been in question. Thirty years on, the art world – caught between globalization and multipolarization – is beginning to reflect less on the importance of cultural differences grounded in locality, than on what our universal human values might actually be. There are a number of possible reasons for this shift, but it could simply be that in the modern world, where the dissemination of information at lightning speed has engendered a kind of global simultaneity, we are now noticing that exploration of universal values is not confined to any specific region. Moreover, COVID-19 has made introspection in the arts a global phenomenon.
Following in the footsteps of a European art tradition that has explored universal human values over many centuries, Michaël Borremans and Mark Manders share their own such reflections with those of us inhabiting the same times. The paintings of Borremans, who mines Baroque tradition to portray the dark recesses of the human soul, and sculptures of Manders, with their striking pieces of bodies, created in accordance with the artist’s concept of “self-portrait as a building,” may employ different media, but both delve deeply into complex psychological states and relationships.

In “Double Silence,” Borremans and Manders invite the viewer into a space and time in which the artists themselves engage in a dialogue through their works, as the title suggests, amid calm or silence. The word “double” means to be twice as much, twofold, but also has several other meanings, such as two together, distinctly different aspects (eg “dual personality”), and forming a pair. All of which makes the title of this exhibition eminently suitable for a show by two artists who are themselves far from straightforward.
We hope you will take the opportunity to visit this exhibition of over eighty sympathetically curated works by two of the top artists in Europe today.

About the artist

  • Photo: Alex Salinas

    Michaël Borremans

    Born 1963 in Geraardsbergen, Belgium; lives and works in Ghent, Belgium. Fascinated by the techniques and themes of western painting tradition as seen in the work of artists like Velasquez and Manet, Borremans perceives painting as a universal language serving as a window on imaginary worlds. The influence of conceptual art, which rejects concrete meaning and narrative, is very much evident in his works, which possess a singular aura that conveys the disquiet and danger lurking in the everyday, via subjects rich in anomalies and ambiguities. In recent years Borremans has also expanded his practice to include painting-derived works on video. He has had solo exhibitions at Galerie Rudolfinum (2020, Prague, Czech Republic), Hara Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo (2014, Tokyo), and S.M.A.K., Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent (2005, Ghent, Belgium), among others; has been invited to participate in international exhibitions including the Biennale of Sydney (2018, Australia), Yokohama Triennale (2011, Japan), Berlin Biennale (2006, Germany), and Manifesta 5 (2004, San Sebastian, Spain); and in 2010 produced a series of commissioned works for the Monarchy of Belgium exhibited at the Royal Palace in Brussels.

  • Photo: Cedric Verhelst

    Mark Manders

    Born 1968 in Volkel, the Netherlands; lives and works in Ronse, Belgium. Since Manders adopted the concept of “Self-Portrait as Building” in 1986, all his works have constituted part of a single, mammoth, self-portrait. Although his drawings and sculptures could be described as complete in themselves, they are partially interchangeable, and evolve continuously and organically according to how they are combined in his “imaginary rooms.” Manders’ installations are imbued with an imperishable, universal quality, as if frozen in a certain moment in time, and evoke in the viewer feelings of calm, and absence. Manders participated in the São Paulo Biennale (1998, Brazil) and represented the Netherlands at the Dutch Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale (2013, Italy). Recent solo outings include a large-scale exhibition at the Bonnefantenmuseum (2020, Maastricht, Netherlands) and monumental outdoor sculptures for the Public Art Fund (2019, Central Park, New York, USA) and the Rokin Square (2017, Amsterdam, the Netherlands).

Major works in the exhibition Michaël Borremans

  • Michaël Borremans, The House of Opportunity (The Chance of Lifetime), 2003 Collection: S.M.A.K., Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst, Ghent
    Photo: Peter Cox
    Courtesy: Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

    The House of Opportunity (The Chance of Lifetime)

    From 2002 to 2007, houses with Dutch-style roofs and innumerable windows were a favorite motif for Borremans in his drawings and oil paintings. The figures in the picture, their size, and the connection between figures and house are all very much an enigma. Yet were you to imagine something real while looking at the work, for you this would be a muddying of imagination and reality, and one could only say you had been hooked by Borremans’ seductive take on free association. Though House of Opportunity forms a theatrical painterly space of sorts, it is uncertain whether the light and shadow here reflect any specific meaning or subjectiveness.

  • Michaël Borremans, Automat (I), 2008
    Photo: Peter Cox
    Courtesy: Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

    Automat (I)

    Automat (I) depicts a girl with a plait, hands clasped lightly behind her back, but on closer inspection we see that the lower limbs one would expect to find under her skirt are missing, making it appear that she has been cut in half and just her upper body placed on a stand. What’s more, the hint of shadow beneath the hem of her skirt gives her an unnatural air of hovering in space. Borremans’ original concept was for a sculpture of just a skirt rotating automatically, and he did subsequently also present Skirt Sculpture (2014). He developed the concept over a number of years into a series of variations, including drawings, as well the oil painting The Skirt, and the 35mm film Weight. With its traversing of different media, for example the presence even in a painted work of sculptural elements – the emphasis on a monumental quality and material volume – Automat (I) displays the distinguishing features of Borremans’ oeuvre to superb effect.

  • Michaël Borremans, The Angel, 2013
    Photo: Peter Cox
    Courtesy: Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

    The Angel

    Deviating considerably from the common vision of an angel, with its black face and superhuman scale there is something incongruous about Borremans’ creation. In a human, the muscular arms protruding from sleeves, large hands, wide shoulders and short hair would likely belong to a male, but in its entirety, the gender of Borremans’ angel is less clear. The model for this work, which has been called Borremans’ “Mona Lisa,” was Belgian top model Hannelore Knuts. Her listless standing pose, with eyes downcast, is calm and quiescent, all bubbling human emotion and sensation lost, and radiates a sense of isolation too. Characteristics featuring frequently in figures by Borremans are very much in evidence in this leading example of his work.

Mark Manders

  • Mark Manders
    Fox / Mouse / Belt (fragment from Self-portrait as a building)
    Photo: Dirk Pauwels
    Courtesy: Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

    Fox / Mouse / Belt (fragment from Self-portrait as a building)

    The earliest work in “Double Silence,” this is an important piece that incorporates in its subtitle the “self-portrait as a building” concept adopted by Manders in 1986 at the start of his career. Here self-portrait refers not so much to an actual self-portrait of the conventional sort, as an all-embracing portrait of Manders’ reflections, emotions, memories and ideas. According to the artist, this sculpture of a fox and mouse, tied together with a belt, originated from a series of three separate words. The word “fox” consists of a jumping fox that he froze mid-leap, caught at a moment in time. He then used his own belt to tie a mouse to the fox’s stomach, into which the mouse would normally disappear. Through the simple gesture of lying them on the ground, he realized the “unit” sank deeper into motionless, and that the stylization created “an unbelievable standstill without a ‘before’ or ‘after.’”

  • Mark Manders
    Composition with Four Yellow Verticals
    Photo: EPW Studio
    Courtesy: Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp & Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

    Composition with Four Yellow Verticals

    Manders’ latest work is a striking sculptural piece in which four lengths of yellow wood are inserted vertically into the faces of human figures. The sculptures appear to be cracked clay, but are in fact cast bronze that has been colored. The busts are all positioned at different angles, their subtle variations in size creating perspective. Walking around them, one is prompted to note that things have multiple viewpoints, and change occurs through creation by the onlooker. Belying its lack of material bulk, the intervention of the pieces of wood on the faces, in overall terms minor in volume, has a power that threatens the entire foundation of the work.

  • Mark Manders
    Composition with Two Colours
    Photo: Peter Cox
    Courtesy: Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp

    Composition with Two Colours

    Language plays a vital role in the practice of Mark Manders, and a connection between language and ideas can be identified in most of his works. The newspaper is a recurring motif in his artistic endeavors involving language. Based on a rule that he created, the newspaper includes every word from the English dictionary, only once, in random order. Items of English vocabulary are arranged with no regard for grammatical order, however including edited sections for example hidden by overpainting or collage, may include notable words related to the work. Despite the small dimensions of the page, as long as one can keep coming up with new combinations of the words, there is endless potential for play in an imaginary world separate from reality.
    Regarding the two colors: for a long time, Manders only used color when it was inherent to the material he was using. Slowly he found ways to integrate it, and he has a strong preference for the color yellow. Here, however, the two colors are of an indeterminate hue; not exactly yellow, nor orange, somewhere in between, they are colors without a name.

Related event

  • To be announced on the Museum website after September 1.

Exhibition catalogue


    Contents included:
    -Installation views and plates
    “Swallowed Sentences: Encounters in the Work of Mark Manders and Michaël Borremans” by Martin Germann (Independent Curator)
    “Double Silence” by KUROSAWA Hiromi (Chief Curator, 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa)
    -List of works etc.

    Specifications: 270 x 210 mm/164 pages
    Publishers: 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa

    To be sold: Museum Shop at the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa



Organized by:

21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (Kanazawa Art Promotion and Development Foundation)

Grants from:

Flemish Authorities, Mondriaan Fonds

Supported by:

Konishi Brewing Co., Ltd.