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Service for Foreign Policy Instruments
News article30 November 2022Service for Foreign Policy Instruments2 min read

Photo exhibition celebrating 45 Years of EU-ASEAN relations opens on 1 December in Brussels

On 1-14 December, the Halles St. Gery in Brussels will host an exhibition “Celebrating European Union (EU) – Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) 45 Years of Relations”.

​Weaving the Ocean

The exhibition tells the story of the partnership between the EU and the ASEAN through historical photos of high-level meetings, showcasing the depth and breadth of this cooperation, elevated to a Strategic Partnership in 2020 to solve global challenges together: be it the pandemic, economic relations, security, education, the green transition or others. The exhibition will also display testimonial videos featuring ambassadors, politicians, young leaders and journalists from the EU and ASEAN who have contributed to this region-to-region partnership in the past 45 years.

At the core of the multimedia exhibition is a community project named “Weaving the Ocean”, through which an art object made of plastic debris from the ocean of Bali was woven together. The art object is a creation of Indonesian artist, Ari Bayuaji. It will be displayed for the first time in Brussels, reminding about the importance of preserving the environment, which is a top priority for both regions.


​  Weaving the Ocean


The textile sculpture “Weaving the Ocean” is created from plastic threads using ropes found on the shorelines and mangroves on the coast of Bali. The inspiration came to the Indonesian artist during the pandemic, while walking on the beach, where he found that many roots of mangrove trees were tangled in plastic ropes, and he decided to use the plastic as material for weaving. The artist’s project engaged local people when the economic situation in Bali was difficult due to the lack of tourism, while at the same time it contributed towards raising awareness on the importance of preserving natural resources.

 “The answer is to be found in nature. In nature we can find hope for a better future. Interweaving our culture and nature in a harmonious manner is one of most hopeful things human beings can do.” – says Ari Bayuaji. He believes this project and his idea of replacing vanishing materials with new “natural” materials easily found can be replicated in many countries.

In Brussels, the textile sculpture invites youth from both regions to express their views and expectations about the future of EU - ASEAN relations and what they believe the leaders’ priority of action should be. Their wishes, thoughts and concerns will be gathered online and published on the day of the EU – ASEAN Commemorative Summit, on 14 December 2022. Everybody can participate in the initiative sending the wishes through this form: Share your wish


Publication date
30 November 2022
Service for Foreign Policy Instruments