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Welcome to the world of Koen Vanmechelen. Being a multi- and trans disciplinary artist, Koen Vanmechelen is one of the most prolific and prominent contemporary artists of our time. Central to his extensive and innovative oeuvre is the concept of bio-cultural diversity and identity.
Over the past decade Vanmechelen has collaborated with scientists from different disciplines. His ground-breaking work earned him an honorary doctorate at the University of Hasselt in 2010 and the Golden Nica Hybrid Art in 2013.
Vanmechelen uses a plethora of artistic tools for his work - from painting and video to installations, innovative 3D-techniques, sculptures and glass -, which includes four projects. These are: the ‘Cosmopolitan Chicken Research Project’ (CC®P), the wooden statue ‘Cosmogolem’, the fertility project ‘Walking Egg’ and the WWI remembrance project ‘Combat’. In 2011 the supporting foundations were grouped into the ‘Open University of Diversity’.
His ground-breaking work has been presented at almost every continent on our planet. Just a few examples are his exhibitions at the National Gallery in London, the Museum of Arts & Design in New York, the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, the Victoria and Albert Museum in London and the Museum Kunst Palast in Düsseldorf. Furthermore at the prestigious Biennial of Venice and at the World Expo in Shanghai.
In January 2015, the city of Genk and Koen Vanmechelen have launched a project to construct a new contemporary destination on the former site of the ‘Zoo van Zwartberg’ – La Biomista, an extraordinary project where the ambitions of the artist and the city converge.
The site of 20 hectares consists of three identities: the villa, the studio and the park. The new sections on the site are designed by Swiss architect Mario Botta.
Vanmechelen lives in the northeast of Belgium. He is an honorary citizen of his native town of Sint-Truiden
Always on the move, Koen Vanmechelen proudly donates his time and talent to raise awareness and support for the Black Jaguar foundation.
Why I became ambassador of the Black Jaguar Foundation
I have become a BJF Ambassador because the BJF carries out what is truly required: helping to restore two of the most vital ecosystems on earth. I think it’s time that we are aware of the fact that we are part of nature and that we are not above it.
I think we have to discover again why the grass is talking to the humans and why the humans are talking to the trees and the trees are talking to the animals. All elements are connected in a circle. All elements are strong and when one element in the circle becomes weak, and today its human, we cannot survive.
To protect nature is human rights. As humans we have rights. But we only can have rights if we respect our environment and our nature. So as a human, I believe it is my duty to become Ambassador of the Black Jaguar Foundation.
To support the Black Jaguar Foundation is also important to me because it underlines my work ánd my ability to raise awareness on a global scale. I can integrate the BJF to my work in expositions and many museums around the world. In such a way that everybody can have a view what is happening in the world and learn that there are still people who are fighting to preserve our planet and humanity.