MIMA in Brussels, Belgium

Culture 2.0 at the MIMA Museum in Brussels

The Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art (MIMA), hosts contemporary art in the old, industrial Bellevue Brewery along the Brussels Canal. Opened in April 2016, the gallery’s mission is to “explore a history of culture 2.0.” What does that mean exactly? The MIMA aims to break down barriers, making subcultures – derived from music, comic, tattoo, and street art – relevant and accessible to a broad audience. Three floors are dedicated to temporary and permanent collections, a café, and rooftop terraces that lead to bird’s eye views of the canal.

When I visited its inaugural City Lights exhibit, the unfinished basement had been converted to an space where a maze of exposed brick walls were covered by the intricate wheat-paste cutouts by street artist, Swoon. Further upstairs, art duo Faile installed Wishing On You, a seven-foot-tall rotating, hand-carved prayer wheel covered in advertising messages and pulp images that worship consumerism. Also of note was the playful chapel room painted by Maya Hayuk. Her drippy, geometric neon murals were inspired by the rhythms and patterns of her favorite music. Piping in the songs that influenced this work would have added depth to this psychedelic display.

Swoon at the Mima Swoon at the MIMAWheat-paste cutouts by Swoon 

I’m look forward to returning to the MIMA to see how it evolves. There are a lot of opportunities for the institution to collaborate with Belgium’s diverse communities. Underground art is not always conducive to being elevated or viewed in a fine arts environment. I’ll be curious to see the innovative ways the museum will showcase such work to preserve its authenticity and spontaneity.Momo at the MIMAPaper tear experiment by Momo

If you like urban art, a ton of it can be seen for free around Recyclart near the Marolles neighborhood. Explore walls and bridges concealed by graffiti around the abandoned Bruxelles-Chapelle subway . The Recyclart center acts as a public space for art exhibits, skateboarding, lectures, and concerts.

Practical Info

39-41, Quai du Hainaut
1080 Brussels, Belgium

Open Wednesday – Sunday
10:00 am – 6:00 pm

+32 472.61.03.51

• 9.5€ for adults
• 7.5€ ages 12-18, students, and seniors
• Free for kids under the age of 12

MIMA: Maya HayukMurals by Maya Hayuk

Public Transportation

Comte de Flandre – Graaf van Vlaanderen
Lines 1 & 5
5-7 minute walk, use the Canal/Kanaal exit and take a right when you reach the canal, the museum is 250 m down the street on your right

• Triangle/Driehoek: Tram 82, 83; Bus 86
• Porte de Ninove – Ninoofsepoort: Line 51 (5 minute walk)

Where’s do you go to enjoy contemporary art? Leave your comments or questions below.

Lara Dalinsky
Lara Dalinsky

Lara was instilled with the travel bug at an early age and has visited over 25 countries. Her mother’s job as a flight attendant enabled a childhood of discovering the world. She recently relocated to Seoul, South Korea, where she hopes to explore some of Asia for the next few years. In addition to being the founding editor of En Route Traveler, Lara also works as a freelance graphic designer. In her spare time, she contributes as a Local Expert to AFAR, is an ambassador for FIG Clothing, enjoys vegetarian cuisine, instructs Zumba, practices yoga, dabbles in photography and, of course, travels as much as possible.


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