craft exhibition travels to sweden

The exhibition Éric Van Hove: Fenduq, which has just ended in the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden, attracted 128,000 visitors. This international art project was a resounding success. According to the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad, ‘the clash of cultures and ideas made Fenduq a fascinating exhibition’. A brand new work of art was created during the exhibition, young people were inspired during working visits to Friesland and Marrakech, and the museum was a hive of various activities. Following in the footsteps of the Fries Museum, Éric Van Hove’s engine blocks, made using traditional crafts, will be exhibited in Museum Vandalorum in Sweden from 1 February to 27 September 2020.

The Fries Museum exhibited the work of Éric Van Hove (Algeria, 1975) from 2 February 2019 to 5 January 2020. Van Hove and his team of international craftsmen reproduce industrial engine blocks and vehicles down to their finest detail. Hundreds of parts are handcrafted from wood, ceramics, copper and other materials. Van Hove combines the beauty of design with current themes such as the distribution of wealth and the disparities between the West and the rest of the world.


The exhibition, designed by Studio L A, was well received by both the public and the press. Audience research shows that visitors rated the exhibition with an average of 7.9. Of the visitors, 22% came from Friesland, 8% from abroad and 70% from the rest of the Netherlands; for 67% this was their first visit to the Fries Museum. The press also paid a lot of attention to Éric Van Hove: Fenduq. 300 articles appeared in printed media and on the Internet, with a media value of 2.8 million euros. De Volkskrant devoted six pages to the exhibition and NRC Handelsblad awarded the ‘fascinating exhibition’ four stars and praised the ‘superb craftsmanship’.

frisian engine

Especially for the exhibition in Leeuwarden, Frisian, Moroccan, Swedish and Indonesian craftsmen worked for more than nine months on the engine of a field shredder, a popular agricultural vehicle in the Frisian countryside. All 295 parts of the engine were reproduced in a variety of crafts, from Moroccan woodwork to Hindu painting and from Indonesian carving to Swedish glassware. The craftsmen worked together intensively for a month in the Blokhuispoort to make the parts and assemble the engine. The engine block was unveiled during the Crafts Festival, where the work was given the name Us Heit (Claas Jaguar OM422-V8). Dutch poet laureate Tsead Bruinja wrote a poem about it and the filmHert & Siel Omrop Fryslân, which will also be screened in Sweden, documented the creation of the engine block.


In a unique educational programme, the museum offered 24 lower secondary professional education and intermediate vocational education students the opportunity to work with craftspeople in Friesland. They learned how to work wood, forge jewellery, make ceramics and more. At the invitation of the museum, eight of them then travelled to Éric Van Hove’s studio in Marrakesh, where they worked alongside the artist’s craft team. With the exchange, the museum wanted to give the youngsters a sense of pride in their own skills as well as an opportunity to learn from excellent craftsmen. Students from D’Drive, the school of creative industry at Friesland College, filmed a documentary of the project. In addition to the exchange project, another xx students followed an educational programme at the exhibition.


Éric Van Hove: Fenduq is followed by Other.Worldly. From 15 February 2020 to 3 January 2021, contemporary artists from the Netherlands and abroad will transport visitors to an underwater world. Other.Worldly portrays the mysterious underwater world in all its facets: its beauty, its awesome and evocative power, and pollution. The highlight of the exhibition is the work Osedax by Edgar Cleijne (Netherlands, 1963) and Ellen Gallagher (United States, 1965). This installation immerses visitors in a mesmerising journey past an oilrig, enchanting sea creatures and swaying plants.


The exhibition Éric Van Hove: Fenduq was made possible in part by Aegon, the Province of Friesland, the BankGiro Lottery, the Mondriaan Fund (the public incentive fund for visual arts and cultural heritage), the VSB Fund, Fonds21, HAMOFA, Het Nieuwe Stads Orphanage Foundation, M.A.O.C. Countess van Bylandt Foundation, Friends of the Fries Museum, GLASMA and Beldi Country Club.

The Fryske Motor was made by the following craftspeople: Titus Stallmann (Hindelooper painting), Erno Korpershoek (Frisian carving), Rikus Oswald (ceramics, includingearthenware and tin glazed objects), Lies van Huet (ceramics), Johan Stallmann (woodwork), Sanne Bergsma and Theo van Halsema (silver- and goldsmiths), Jilles and Hannes Scherjon (clog making), Frank Kroondijk and Rolf Doderlein De Win (3D-printing), Wim van der Meer (leatherwork), Arib Abdelalli and Mostafa el Moufdi (coppersmiths), Mohamed Ouahaddou (bone carving), Mehdi Ghinati and Abdelkader ´Dragon´ Hmidouch (woodwork), Abderrahim Boutkrout and Abdelghafour Boutkrout (wood carving), Mustafa Jaouale (coppersmiths), Abdeljalil Ait Boujmiâa (aluminium casting), Noureddine El Miraoui (finishing), Abdelatif Boulaadam (mechanic), Hassan El mouaddin (copper engraving), Youssef Zouak (painting), Abdeljalil ait Boujmeaa (aluminium), Soufiane Sahli, Zakaria Bougrine, Abdelghani El Akari and Abdelghani El Akari (coppersmiths), Kamel Aabila, Simohamed Zouita and Hicham Ait Boukhari (metalworking), Chawki Ait Elbzioui, Youssef Mohaounos (woodwork), Simohamed Kachich, Anders Wennerhag and Peter Kuchinke (glassblowing), Leoba Maria Solga, Simon Holm and Wayan Lila (bone carving).

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