ZSenne art lab is a space in the Brussels city centre that that is used both for as a gallery and as a workshop and production space. Laid back and sometimes understated,  ZSenne is space for process, action and staging, a platform for emerging or well established Belgian and international artists working in the installation / performative. I would say vey Brucellosis space; I always leave thinking from their events.

A public reading of the first chapter of “Carrot soup and Cocaine“, a novel by Japanese author Akio Irie now being translated into English, has been hosted there last Sunday (beginning of August 2013). The author hosted the reading during a dinner event which he cooked himself, for maximum 20 people.

Zsenne art lab

Zsenne art lab

“A winter day with Hiromi“, the first chapter of this atmospheric novel, acquaints us a bit with the story of Hiromi, an immigrant young Japanese woman in Brussels. From the weather to the marriage with her gay husband, for Hiromy things are not looking good as she herself concludes: “In unavoidable frustration, her lonely mind derived the arbitrary conclusion: For some reason or not, it did not go well, this life in Belgium.

Like a Moebius strip linking reality and fiction, the alimentary lecture fund at the opposite end of the fictional world, an alimentary reading in the object of the coffee flavoured city guide accidentally created by Hiromy by knocking over a coffee cup: “When she opened the stained guidebook  in colour of soil, as one says, even though it appeared to her a sort of new product, a book with scent, the smell of brewed coffee had drifted around in the room.“ Expressive: people at a foodie event listening about a story about someone smelling a book.

It is interesting to assert your presence on the streets of Brussels during the Ramadan with tables on the sidewalk eating, talking and listening to the translation of a Japanese author into English while having a three course meal served:

–        Kinpira of Lotus: lotus root with sweet soy sauce

–        Tofu Jelly: egg tofu in jelly bonito sauce with mushrooms

–        Tatsutaage: fried chicken, marinated in garlic soy sauce, with potato salad

Instead of desert a second part reading from the novel.

My heart went out to Haromi! I am sure she would have loved to participate in the event and not only because of the comfort food value of the very tasty craft fully prepared and served Japanese menu! But also because, as the author him self let us know, you could see the future in the lotus roots. And she probably wanted to catch a glimpse of what this future holds for her in this weather unpredictable Belgium.


Chronic by Rareș Crăiuț.