Antwerp’s M HKA

Antwerp, Waalse kaai - www.thisisb.be

Flash! Flash! Flash! Do your days also go by like seconds? I’ve been doing “nothing” for two months now (I finished my studies in December and I am starting an internship in March, so there is a ‘nothing’ period in between), and yet I haven’t been bored for one bit. I am doing little tasks the whole day and suddenly it is time for dinner and I can’t seem to remember a single accomplishment of the day. Frightening.
HOWEVER, I did accomplish to do something cultural last week, so I feel extremely proud and busy and ready to share! Follow me?

M HKA Antwerp - www.thisisb.be

As I have talked about before, my favourite art periods are modern and contemporary art. I like how weird most works are and how they reflect ‘pure’ emotions (is that even a thing?). When in Paris, I preferred the modern art of Centre Pompidou over the works at Louvre, and this inspired me to look for more of the same in Belgium as well. And also: I am on a quest to discover more of my own city, so a visit to a museum seemed a good start.
Enter: M HKA, which stands for ‘Museum van Hedendaagse Kunst Antwerpen’ or Antwerp’s museum of contemporary art.

Antwerp, Waalse kaai - www.thisisb.be

Waalse Kaai

The museum can be found in the south of Antwerp, at the Waalse kaai, and you can recognize it by the huge letters that mark its existence.

M HKA Antwerp - www.thisisb.be

The letters are painted on top of an old grain silo who was bought by the Flemish Community in 1984 to become the museum it is today. Somewhat further, you can find the entrance of the building.

M HKA - from www.thisisb.be

Apparently, I arrived at the wrong time, because there was a new exhibition about to open that very night. This meant that I could only visit the exhibition on the ground floor, called ‘The Gap’, which lasts until the end of May. I did not mind, because I like my museum visits to be short and powerful rather than long and back-pain-causing. I paid the 1 euro entrance fee (hooray for being < 26 !) and immediately started exploring.

M HKA - Timothy Segers, Utop 3D nr.2 - from www.thisisb.be

Timothy Segers, Utop 3D nr.2, 2015

The exposition was composed by Luc Tuymans, a famous Belgian painter, who wanted it to be a collection of works from all time periods that needed to interact with each other through their inherent qualities. Whatever that means. I just watched and enjoyed!

M HKA - Timothy Segers, Utop 3D nr.2 - from www.thisisb.be

Behind the sculpture above, you can see a painting that has thousands of little dots on it. From afar, it looked like there were only black little dots. But when looking more closely….

M HKA - Carla Arocha & Stéphanie Schraenen, Untitled Leather (Chris) - from www.thisisb.be

Carla Arocha & Stéphanie Schraenen, Untitled Leather (Chris), 2006

Tadaaa! Purple, yellow and grey spots. Could definitely be a wall paper.

I especially loved the works with ombré-colours.

M HKA - Jef Verheyen, Morgen, 1965 - from www.thisisb.be

Jef Verheyen, Morgen, 1965

M HKA - Pieter Vermeersch Untitled, 2015 - from www.thisisb.be

Pieter Vermeersch Untitled, 2015

They looked especially pretty in the white room that surrounds them. The museum really had a very calm and light vibe. (Regardless of the construction works who were still going on upstairs, haha.)
The picture underneath probably shows the weirdest work of them all. An empty bucket of Hägen-Dazs, balancing on a workbench, appropriately named ‘nicecream’.

M HKA - Nicecream, Gert Robijns, 2012 - from www.thisisb.be

Nicecream, Gert Robijns, 2012

Of course there were more weird, funny and captivating works, but I don’t want to ruin all the fun so you should probably buy that €1 ticket yourself 😉.

In the back of the museum, there is another small exhibition going on, called ‘Roda Lume’, by the artist Alexandre Estrela. This one was all about experimental videos and… an experience it was.

M HKA - Alexandre Estrela - from www.thisisb.be

You enter a black room that is filled with noises: chirpy bird-sounds, cracky voices, unearthly zooming, old stereo sounds,.. it feels quite alien actually. In the dark room, there are several screens set up. One showed a vibrating landscape with water melons, another one was composed of three different screens who rotated mesmerizingly.

Furthermore, there was a dia projector and several other screens who showed explosions, missile firings, and so on.

M HKA - Alexandre Estrella - from www.thisisb.be

After seeing all that, it felt time to get rid off the weirdness and come to senses in plain air. So I made my way up to the roof of the museum. Where you can find a café…

M HKAfé - from www.thisisb.be

… and a rather excellent view over Antwerp and it’s harbor.

Antwerp Waalse Kaai - M HKA - from www.thisisb.be

View over Waalse Kaai

Antwerp Waalse kaai - from www.thisisb.be

Antwerp Schelde M HKA - from www.thisisb.be

Schelde – Linkeroever

But the weather was grey and cold, and after a nice stroll on the roof, I decided it was time for something hot to warm me up. So I went to a cosy place not far from the museum, called Wasbar.

Wasbar Antwerp - from www.thisisb.be
You can do your laundry there…

Wasbar Antwerp - from www.thisisb.be

… OR you can indulge in some of the glorious drinks and bits they have on offer.

Wasbar Antwerp - from www.thisisb.be

You know me. I chose the second option.  A monstrous amount of hot chocolate milk and whipped cream.

Wasbar Antwerp - from www.thisisb.be

Which I drank happily while finishing my book.

Wasbar Antwerp - from www.thisisb.be

Quite a nice day of DOMO (Discovering On My Own 😎) again!
What are your favourite places in Antwerp?

xx B

One thought on “Antwerp’s M HKA

  1. Belmondo @Groenplaats, best place to snuggle up with a book in one of the cosy sofas. Or sit outside on the duobench at the door to engage in some next level people watching!

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