Context AiR Plovdiv – A City Portrait of Plovdiv, Simon Van Parys

sculptural installation , 2022


28 July, Thursday, at 6 pm

The Belgian artist Simon Van Parys offers to the local Plovdiv community an interpretation of their city, through the eyes of the newcomer.

During his residency he tried to understand what defines this city. The installation he builds to create the city portrait is a follow up to his in month-long artistic residency in Plivdiv realized in the frame of the ongoing 2022 CONTEXT AiR program.

About the creative process Simon Van Parys says:

“I sourced from the streets for collecting, hoarding and harvesting physical materials. These are the building blocks for my sculptures. All artworks are made by improvisation and finished on-site. 

The end result is a walk-through installation for the people of Plovdiv. A conglomeration of hand-made buildings made by found objects from the streets.

A sculptural city portrait of Plovdiv is to be produced and installed at the yard of the City Art Gallery of Plovdiv (by its premises hosting the permanent exposition on 14a Saborna str. in the Old Town)”

In addition I made a soundtrack with recorded sounds, you can listen to it here:

Youtube channel


Simon Van Paris (1986, Ghent, Belgium) graduated in 2010 from the School of Art (KASK) in Ghent. Soon after, he settled into his studio at NUCLEO. Since then he has been working towards expanding his artistic horizon with international collaborations from London (UK, 2015, 2018) to Buenos Aires (AR, 2017, 2019), Hong Kong (HK, 2018), Neuchatel (CH, 2018), Montevideo (UY , 2019), Shanghai (CN, 2019), Tehran (IR, 2020) and Antofagasta (CL, 2020). His most recently realized projects are in Trier (Germany, 2022), Knokke (Belgium, 2021) and Brussels (Belgium, 2021). Each new environment has a defining influence on his works, for which the interaction between the visiting artist and the local communities is crucial. In 2018, Simon received a development grant from the Flemish government for his interdisciplinary approach. He also uses his interaction experience outside the field of visual arts, doing sound design for the fashion label Barmé, scenography for the performance of Lisa Vereertrbugen, Watzmann & NT Gent (2018), prototyping furniture for the organic bakery Compaan (2018 ), graphic design for records Life&Death (2015).


CONTEXT AiR aims at creating new works, partnerships, interventions in public space, inspired by the city and its eclectic mix of ancient history, socialist heritage and modern reality.

In May and June, in Plovdiv was already successfully held the residency of the Ukrainian visual artist Daria Pugachova.

Currently on a residency stay in the city are the artistic duo Anne Fehres(from the Netherlands) & Luke Conroy (from Australia) – developing the ninth edition of their joint project “News From Home” dedicated to Plovdiv.

And by the end of the year – in October – within the framework of the program, in Plovdiv will be the fourth and last one for 2022 creative residency of the Armenian choreographer and dancer Rima Pipoyan.

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Instagram @contextplovdiv

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