Arne Quinze - A Stranger’s World, 2013 - Copyright Arne Quinze

Arne Quinze

Belgium 1971

Installation, Conceptual Art

Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze
November 5, 2015
Bojan is an author for Widewalls. He is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Belgrade, majoring in English studies. He is particularly interested in English linguistics and culture. Bojan is also interested in Photography and Digital Art.

Arne Quinze is a famous Belgian conceptual artist, best known for his project City Like Open-Air Museums consisting of controversial public installations made of wood and metal. Large-scale and massive, his constructions evoke positive reactions from both the public and critics.


Arne Quinze was born in Belgium on December 15, 1971. His career started in the 80s, when he first got involved with graffiti art. Unlike many artists today, Quinze never went through a formal art education. Primarily known for his controversial sculptures and installations, the Belgian also creates paintings and drawings. The latter usually serve as a sort of foundation onto which he “builds” his large-scale installations.

Installations and Artworks by Arne Quinze

Although Arne creates in variety of media, such as glass, metal and paint, he most often opts for different types of wood. The purpose of his installations is to trigger reaction of people passing by them. He wants people to stop for a second, gather and communicate. Quinze’s artwork is mainly referring to social interaction, communication, contradictions, rhythm, evolution and contrasts. The places where he sets his sculptures are also a part of installations. As the wooden constructions are often brightly colored – Arne usually uses intense orange and red colors – they look out of place compared to their surroundings. By doing this, the artist brings into focus the fast-developing, burning issue of the present – the estrangement and isolation people feel nowadays.

Cities Like Open-Air Museums

Arne Quinze’s take on art is that it greatly influences people – art can bring out the best in us. However, we seem to have forgotten about this. With the project Cities Like Open-Air Museums, Quinze is trying to revive this interest. Provoking interaction and communication is what prompts the Belgian to create his famous installations. The project involves creating large-scale wooden sculptures, and displaying them in major world metropolises.
These artworks give people something to reflect upon, thus striking communication between them. The citizens can also experience their cities anew.


Uchronia is a 2006 public wooden installation by Arne Quinze, his first one. It was held in the Nevada Black Rock desert during the annual Burning Man art and community festival. Each year, thousands of people build Black Rock City, expressing their ideas and thoughts. The festival lasts for seven days, after which all attendees leave without leaving a trace of their presence. Arne’s construction was built using around 150 km of wood – the massive sculpture gave people a feeling of being protected. The way that rays of sun passed through the cracks of Uchronia created beautiful shifting patterns.

Uchronia at the Burning Man Festival

Arne Quinze - Uchronia, 2006 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – Uchronia, 2006

When the festival was over, Uchronia was burned down, because the Nevada dessert needs to be “cleaned” and returned to its previous state. There is also a certain symbolism behind setting this installation on fire – we shouldn’t be scared of new beginnings, of change and transition. The burning of Uchronia provoked Quinze’s desired reaction: communication between people.

The Sequence and The Rebirth

Two years later, in 2008, Arne displayed another installation in wood, this time in the capital of his native country. The Sequence was set on the Louvian Road in Brussels and it connected the Flemish Parliament to the House of Flemish Representatives. The twisting construction looked like it penetrated both buildings, and thus it created the illusion that the two buildings were connected. Again, The Sequence symbolizes the connection between people, a sort of a bridge that brings us all close together, no matter how diverse we are.

Arne’s Bridge in Brussels

Arne Quinze - The Sequence, 2008 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – The Sequence, 2008

That same year, a similar installation titled The Rebirth, was set in Paris, France. However, unlike The Sequence, this one was displayed only for one evening. It was created in honor of redecorating the hotel Royal Monceau. The Rebirth stretched across the entire building, from the lobby to every room.

The Visitor

The Visitor is a 2009 wooden installation located in Beirut, Lebanon. It is actually a Stilt House made in the artist’s recognizable style. Despite standing on four very thin and fragile legs, the structure is stable. This can be taken as a metaphor: people are like Stilt Houses, seemingly unstable and frail. However, they are adaptable and flexible, and can sustain a lot.

The Visitor in Beirut, Lebanon

Arne Quinze - The Visitor, 2009 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – The Visitor, 2009

The environment where this sculpture was placed was very unique – the white walls of the surrounding buildings reflected the light, and the whole area was bright. The intense orange color of The Visitor attracted the people from all over Beirut, which in a way, was the intention of both Quinze, and the patrons. They all wanted the natives of this Middle Eastern city to gather around this “stranger”, and experience their city in a different way.


Another installation by Arne Quinze in France was Camille. It was displayed during a 2010 festival in Rouen, which was organized in honor of the old masters of art. The organizers thought that there was no great difference between the traditional and contemporary art, and that in some ways, they complemented each other. For that reason, another festival, Rouen Impressionnée was established. Camille was placed on the Boieldieu Bridge, a very important construction to the locals, since it is the only way across the Seine.

Arne’s Bridge in Rouen, France

Arne Quinze - Camille, 2010 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – Camille, 2010

For the duration of the festival, the bridge was closed for traffic, but was still open for the pedestrians. Again, Quinze’s sculpture brought the people together, and inspired them to communicate with each other. Amazed, the citizens of Rouen started a petition to keep the wooden construction on the bridge, even after the festival was over.

Red Beacon

Located in Shanghai, China, Red Beacon is yet another successful attempt of Arne Quinze to unite people, and open their minds. During the 2010 World Expo held in Shanghai, where the improvement of urban life was the main theme, the Jing’An district in Shanghai launched an international sculpture project, the first one that was endorsed by the Chinese government.

The Beacon of Shanghai

Arne Quinze - Red Beacon, 2010 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – Red Beacon, 2010

My Home My House My Stilt House

Another Arne Quinze’s achievement in 2010 was the public installation called My Home My House My Stilt House. It was displayed at the Louisiana Museum for
Modern Art, as a part of Living Frontiers of Architecture. The installation explored the concept of “good life nowadays”, as well as the connection between architecture and art. The installation is the product of Arnes’ curiosity about the organization of our private lives, and how we incorporate it into the ways of society. The artist wonders what private property is, and how protective of it we are.

My Home My House My Stilt House – Exhibition View

Arne Quinze - My Home My House My Stilthouse, 2010 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – My Home My House My Stilthouse, 2010

Rock Strangers

The metal installation titled Rock Strangers was conceived as a multinational exhibition of metal sculptures held in cities such as Paris, Shanghai and Antwerp, to name a few. It started in 2011 and is still active. They “mysteriously” appear in various locations, affecting both the architectural and urban context of environment. They are brightly colored, usually a vivid shade of orange, thus symbolizing the isolation and estrangement people feel.
Quinze says that there are many cities in the world that look similar – the only difference being their location. The buildings look identical as well, which makes people feel small. The artist hopes that his Rock Strangers will raise people’s awareness of their existence and ways of life. It is an innate urge that people feel safe, to avoid any unexpected changes, which is the reason why they build walls around them.

Rock Strangers Around the World

Arne Quinze - Rock Strangers in Shanghai (left) and in Antwerp (right), 2015 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – Rock Strangers in Shanghai (left) and in Antwerp (right), 2015

The idea behind Rock Strangers is that these odd, out of place objects will open our minds towards new things, that they will help us break our habits. Arne Quinze juxtaposes the vibrancy of his sculptures and the plainness of the environment they are set in. It is that very difference that evokes interaction between people.

The Passenger

In 2014 and 2015, Arne Quinze chose the center of Mons, Belgium (more precisely the Rue Nimy) as the home for his two separate wooden installations of the same name – The Passenger. The choice of Rue Nimy was not an arbitrary one, as the street has been an important trading center throughout the history of this Belgian city. This installation highlights the importance of Rue Nimy, as many culturally diverse people pass through it.

The Passenger in Mons, Belgium

Arne Quinze - The Passenger, 2014,15 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – The Passenger, 2014,15

Other Artworks by Arne Quinze

Stilt Houses

The concept of Stilt Houses is present in many of Quinze’s public installations. Arne compares them with humans, as they only seem like they are shaky and unstable, but are in fact adaptable to any situation, and can survive in any context. The perfect Stilt House is tall, watching over everything. This symbolizes our aspirations and strivings towards going higher and further in life. Arne first created Stilt Houses in 2007.

Metaphor for Human Beings

Arne Quinze - Stilt Houses, 2007 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – Stilt Houses, 2007


“There is no Chaos, only Structure” – this is the thought that is behind every artwork by Arne. The artwork Chaos in particular was first intended to be a self-portrait of the artist. However, the more he studied it, the quicker he realized that it represented the society and the “chaos” that rules in it. Countless small sticks are stuck to each other, making chaos. Only they are not – there is a structure behind them. First created in 2009, Chaos symbolizes life. Everything is a matter of rhythm in life.

Metaphor for Life

Arne Quinze - Chaos, 2009 - Copyright Arne Quinze
Arne Quinze – Chaos, 2009

Personal Life

Highly acclaimed, Arne Quinze’s artworks have been featured in numerous festivals and exhibitions, both one-man and group. This earned him an international renown. He married twice, first in 2009 with Barbara Becker, a German-American designer and model. They separated in 2011, and a year later, Quinze married An Lemmers, a TV and radio personality in Belgium. The artist is represented by the David Bloch Gallery in Marrakech, Morroco.

Arne Quinze lives and creates between Sint-Martens-Latem in Belgium and Shanghai, China.

All images are © Arne Quinze

YearExhibition TitleGallery/MuseumSolo/Group
2014One WorldAt The Gallery, Antwerp, BelgiumSolo
2014The Passenger, public installationFoundation Mons 2015, Mons, BelgiumSolo
2014One World, public installationDe Schorre (Boom), BelgiumSolo
2013Chaos In Motion At The Gallery, Antwerp, BelgiumSolo
2013BidonvillePaul Kasmin Gallery, Frieze Art Fair, New YorkSolo
2013StilthousePaul Kasmin Gallery, Art Basel, Hong KongSolo
2013Chaos in Motion, wooden and glass sculptureMAMAC, Nice, FranceSolo
2013Breeding LifePurple Roof Gallery, Art Singapore Art FairSolo
2013Wind, public installationKerry Centre, Shanghai, ChinaSolo
2013A Tribute to Alexander Calder, public installationMAMAC, Nice, FranceSolo
2013Chaos In Motion, public installationMAMAC, Nice, FranceSolo
2012My Secret GardenKunsthal, Rotterdam, The NetherlandsSolo
2012ChaoslifeGallery Dorothea van der Koelen, Venice, ItalySolo
2012Cities Like Open-Air MuseumsBeaufort04, Venetiaanse Gaanderijen, Ostend, BelgiumSolo
2012ChaosEastmen Gallery, Hasselt, BelgiumSolo
2012Works, Art CologneGallery Dorothea van der Koelen, Cologne, GermanySolo
2012Maquettes and WorksLille Art Fair, Guy Pieters Gallery, Lille FranceGroup
2012WorksArt Karlsruhe, Gallery Dorothea van der Koelen, Karlsruhe, GermanySolo
2012My Home My House My StilthouseArt Karlsruhe, Fischerplatz Galerie, Karlsruhe, GermanySolo
2012Recent worksVicky David Gallery, New York, USASolo
2012There's no chaos, only structureBrafa, Galerie Ronny van de Velde, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2012WorksArte Fiera Bologna, Gallery Dorothea van der Koelen, Bologna, ItalySolo
2012Structured Chaos, public installationRio De Janeiro, BrazilSolo
2012Rocks Strangers, public installationBeaufort04, Ostend, BelgiumSolo
2012Pulse, private installationMarbella, SpainSolo
2011My Safe Secret GardenArt Basel Miami, Gallery Guy PietersSolo
2011My Home My House My Stilthouse My Safe GardenHamburg Art week, Hamburg, GermanySolo
2011History of Graffiti in BrusselsMusée d'Ixelles, Ixelles, BelgiumGroup
2011ChaosGallery Dorothea Van Der Koelen, Venice, ItalyGroup
2011My Safe GardensLouisiana Museum of Modern Art, Humlebeak, DenmarkSolo
2011WorksArt Paris for Gallery Guy Pieters, Paris, FranceGroup
2011WorksArt Cologne for Gallery Thomas Modern, Cologne, GermanyGroup
2011WorksLA Art Fair for Howard Rosenbaum ContemporaryGroup
2011WorksArmory Show for Gallery Thomas Modern, New York, USAGroup
2011Stilthouse & Rock Strangers, private installationArt Curial, Donjon de Vez, FranceSolo
2011Inner Lines, public installationArt Curial, Paris, FranceSolo
2011Eden Park Memory, private installationArt Curial, Paris, FranceSolo
2011Art in the Park – Rock Strangers, public installationGallery Gmurzynska, Zurich, SwitzerlandSolo
2011Rock Strangers, virtual public installationBecks art fund, Statute of Liberty New York City, USASolo
2011Rocks Strangers, public installationVinExpo, Bordeaux, FranceSolo
2011Rocks Strangers, private installationRaeren, LuxemburgSolo
2011My Home My House My StilthouseLouisiana Museum, Humlebeak, DenmarkSolo
2010My Home My House My StilthouseArt Basel Miami for Gallery Thomas Modern, Miami, USASolo
2010RedTropen Museum, Amsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup
2010Chaos and StilthousesShow Off Art Fair, Paris, FranceGroup
2010My Home My House My StilthouseGallery Thomas Modern, Munich, GermanySolo
2010My Home My House My StilthouseGallery Guy Pieters, Knokke, BelgiumSolo
2010CamilleMusée des Beaux Arts, Rouen, FranceSolo
2010Les JardinsL'Abbatiale Saint-Ouen, Rouen Impressionnée, Rouen, FranceSolo
2010Sculptures and My Home My House My StilthouseArt Brussels for Guy Pieters Gallery, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2010Paintings and SculpturesCapital Group Art Foundation & Aidan Gallery, Moscow, RussiaGroup
2010Contemplating the Void (visual)Guggenheim Museum, New York, NY, USAGroup
2010Red Beacon, public installationJing'An Sculpture Park, Shanghai, ChinaSolo
2010Camille, public installationRouen Impressionné, Rouen, FranceSolo
2010Dune, private installationGhelamco, Knokke, BelgiumSolo
2010My Home, private installationPastorale, Reet, BelgiumSolo
2009SculpturesSaatchi Gallery, London, United KingdomSolo
2009Japanse StilthouseSwarovski, Vienna, AustriaSolo
2009SculpturesPhilips de Pury, London, United KingdomSolo
2009Stilthouse MansizeAA Magazine, Paris, FranceSolo
2009StilthousesSt. Moritz Art Masters, St. Moritz, SwitzerlandSolo
2009Stilthouse21C Museum Hotel, Louisville, Kentucky, USASolo
2009StilthouseArt Brussels, Guy Pieters Gallery Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2009Sculptures Espace 7, L'Eclaireur ,Paris, FranceSolo
2009Blue, private installationAquahotel, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2009The Visitor, public installationSolidere, Beirut, LebanonSolo
2008Bidonville TowersFrieze Art Fair, Pierre Bergé & Associés, London, United KingdomGroup
2008Stilthouses & BidonvillesPhilips de Pury, London, United KingdomSolo
2008Stilthouse MansizePierre Bergé & Associés, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2008FragilesGestalten, Kortrijk, BelgiumSolo
2008Stilthouse Arsenal, private installationArsenal, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2008Unlimited, private installationO'Cool, Ghent, BelgiumSolo
2008The Traveller, public installationLouis Vuitton, Munich, GermanySolo
2008The Sequence, public installationThe Flemish Parliament, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2008RebirthLe Royal Monceau, Paris, FranceSolo
2007MutagenesisGallery 113, Kortrijk, BelgiumSolo
2007MutagenesisAbitare Il Tempo, Verona, ItalySolo
2007Stilthouse Black 980, private installationGallery 113, Kortrijk, BelgiumSolo
2007Dreamsaver, public installationSwarovski, Milan, ItalySolo
2007Cityscape, public installationMini, Brussels, BelgiumSolo
2006Timegate, private installationMiami, USASolo
2006Uchronia, public installationBurning Man Festival, Black Rock City, Nevada Desert, USAGroup
2005Installation, private installation460 Degrees Gallery, New York and Chicago, USASolo
1989 – 1999Fiber glass and video installationOstend, BelgiumGroup
1989 – 1999Fiber glass and rubber installation (with Hermand Brood)Mechelen, BelgiumDuo
1989 – 1999Fiber glass sculpturesDinant, BelgiumGroup
1989 – 1999Fiber glass and light installationFish & Chips, Antwerp, BelgiumGroup
1989 – 1999Fiber glass sculpturesThe Garage, Oudenaarde, BelgiumGroup
1989 – 1999Graffiti exhibitionMolenbeek, BelgiumGroup
1989 – 1999Graffiti exhibitionAntwerp, BelgiumGroup
1989 – 1999Graffiti exhibitionAmsterdam, The NetherlandsGroup