2005 1er Symposium International de Sculpture sur marbre (France)
2005 St-Art2005- Foires internationales d’art contemporain (Strasbourg)
2007 Hualien International Stone Sculpture Festival (Taiwan)
Belgium is not a familiar country for many people living in Taiwan, but when Manneken Pis was mentioned, a lot of us will nod their head and smile As the city landmark of Brussels-the capital of Belgium, Manneken Pis Statue is often used by Bernard verhaeghe , a stone sculptor from Belgium , as the opening remark to introduce his country.
Always wearing a suit of pure white work clothes, Bernard gives people a feeling of meticulousness when he is working, but in private, he is a happy artist smiling all the time. This time, he brought his wife with him. Their newly-wed like relationship was envied by other stone sculptors. The
“old daddy”, Robert , always joked with him and said “There is nothing happier than having wife by your side!”
Having a sculpture degree, Bernard received intact college training. He came to Hua-lien to take part in the “Stone Sculpture Festival” in 2003 with his work of “New Culture” which used two elements to elaborate on his stone sculpture creation. The two element imply a new culture blending with binary characteristics, which fully illustrates the tension of his work. His work of this year is even more amazing .By breaking stone's stiffness, his work is fraught with dynamics. The creasing shaping makes it so tender and elegant and its silk-like quality relays the association of the stratum crinkles resulting from the earthquakes in Hua-lien.
He said “I tried to present life volatility occurring in the great outdoors. This kind of volatility can be referred to plants, oceans, weather and humans. Our lives start from the earth and sculpture shaping is like plants which grow and move in the air like the growth of your body and mind in your life”. He is very happy about his work being placed at the eastern coast as he hopes that it will grow and root along the coast of the Pacific Ocean.
Being engaged in stone sculpture creation for about 30 years, 57, has gained a lot of enlightenment. As he said when he started stone sculpture creation in his young age. He had to learn to sculpture realistic human arms, but, very often, the process irritated him because no matter how perfect the sculpture was, it would never be on par with a real arm. Thus, he realized that it took impressive strength of 10 finger to carve a vitality stone sculpture. He further explained that it is like to leave significant marks by gently scratch a stone. The apprehension is beyond superficial stone sculpture creation and it is more of soul representation.
Bernard is a seasoned exhibition participant. His footprints have extended to a lot of exhibitions in many countries. He attended the Symposium of sculpture on marble of Maramara held in Istanbul. Turkey in 2002, Hua-lien international Stone Sculpture Festival held in Taiwan in 2003, the Symposium of sculpture on Carrara marble in Grass and regular exhibition held at French Riviera Hotels (Cote d’Azur Hotels) and Belgium regular exhibition in 2006. In addition, he was also invited in 2005 and 2006 in a raw to attend “International Contemporary Art Exposition” and the “Kunstsammlung der Stadt Karlsruhe exhibition” held in Germany.
At Ploegsteert in southern Belgium, Bernard has a studio which has been admired by many people. It takes about 22000 square meters of land and is deemed to be both a stone sculpture forest park and an art saloon where he invited artists from all over the world to hold an exhibition. As hospitable as he is, he also welcomes the Hua-lien's stone sculptors with open arms. Bernard's wife is a retired teacher from elementary school. Since their two children respectively at age of 27 and 24, they planed to tour around Taiwan to experience exotic Asian uniqueness after short stay in Hua-lien for the stone sculpture festival.