The idea of uniting a handful of primitive antique dealers to tie in with the inauguration of the Ambre gallery and offer the public the first “Non European Art Open Days” at the Sablon first saw the light of day in 1983.
The idea took off and it was a resounding success… the project became firmly established, attracting more and more galleries from both Belgium and abroad over the years.
In 1988, the first modest brochure appeared with details of this constantly expanding forum of antique dealers and only three and a half years later the first catalogue was published, marking the success of this momentary fellowship of antique dealers with one objective in common: to promote the exceptional wealth of primitive art, of which they are the ambassadors.
From 1996 onwards, Brussels antique dealers invited colleagues from abroad to the event. Today, the participation of galleries from France, Italy, Spain, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and the USA gives Bruneaf a decidedly international touch.
The Brussels Non European Art Fair has become one of the leading events displaying non-European art, covering fields as diverse as African, Oceanian, Indonesian, pre-Columbian, Asiatic and Australian Aboriginal art.
Sculptures, masks, fetishes, weaponry, jewellery, coins, fabrics, traditional objects executed by ethnic groups according to their own particular customs and worked in wood, metal, gold, silver, bronze, ivory or terra cotta - the objects on exhibit are ritual or domestic artefacts, combining shape with ornamental design. Although the form always meets practical requirements, it is also testimony of a certain vision of the world. Objets d’art from Africa, Indian or Tibet thus draw on the wealth of the myths which form the collective memory, respecting the aesthetic and symbolic standards of tradition and following in the footsteps of the traditional crafts used by their ancestors.