Bokrijk has already been responsible for expertise development regarding craftsmanship and techniques for application in the museum. The Museum's goal for BKRK - ‘Branded by Bokrijk’ is to also demonstrate and support the contemporary relevance of all that craftsmanship.
What can the craftsmanship of the past tell us today? How do contemporary craftspeople take inspiration from old craftsmanship and techniques? And how is that craftsmanship transformed by new technologies? Those questions are central to the &lqsuo;Branded by Bokrijk’ project. Starting from the past, we shed a new light on the present and future of craftsmanship.
Craftsmanship is a combination of thorough professional knowledge with the ability to transform it into a qualitative product. Working on that premise, Bokrijk and the ‘Geheugen Collectief’ bureau selected the craft skills that will be revealed at the Bokrijk Open-Air Museum. They include baking bread, forging iron, working leather, woodwork and brewing beer.
These craft skills are all taken from everyday life. In the pre-industrial period, they undeniably played a role in the basic economy of each village community. On the one hand, Bokrijk wants to tell the historical story, using the existing collection of buildings, objects, fauna and flora and the expertise that our employees have built up over the years. While on the other hand, specialist curators will show the relevance of those crafts to today and tomorrow.
Architect Bart Lens was appointed curator of BKRK. His view is in complete accord with Bokrijk's desired direction.
“Bokrijk is very important for Flemish heritage. There are numerous contemporary designs, whether architecture, furniture design or ceramics, chairs in traditional uses and techniques that are in the very fabric of Bokrijk. Going forward, Bokrijk aims to make the visitors from the here and now feel connected with the past, rather than merely having nostalgic reflection on how it was. This is making history, instead of showing it. ”
Using the basis of his rich professional experience, Bart Lens is working on this project as an advisor and creative sounding board.