News & events > ASEM Cultural Festival 2021 | Asia and Europe: Cultures Connect
15 Nov 2021 - 30 Nov 2021

ASEM Cultural Festival 2021 | Asia and Europe: Cultures Connect

The 3rd edition of the ASEM Cultural Festival titled Asia and Europe: Cultures Connect is a multidisciplinary arts festival with on-site events taking place in Brussels, Belgium on 15 – 22 November and in Phnom Penh, Cambodia on 22 – 26 November 2021. Various events will also be shown online due to some existing mobility restrictions brought by the COVID-19 pandemic. 

With the theme ‘Enhancing ASEM Partnerships through Arts and Culture’, the Festival is the official cultural side-event of the 13th Summit of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM13) to be hosted by the Royal Government of Cambodia on 25 – 26 November. It aims to promote people-to-people connections between Asia and Europe in the field of arts and culture, enhancing ASEM partnership through collaborations and networking. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about a myriad of unprecedented challenges, and the importance of cooperation and mutual understanding between Asia and Europe has been further emphasised in these times of global change. 

This year, over 30 events featuring more than 100 Asian and European artists will showcase the rich cultural diversity and creative collaborations from the two regions through theatre, dance, music, visual arts and interdisciplinary presentations. The on-site programme of the Festival includes 6 art exhibitions hosted at the National Museum of Cambodia and 4 film screenings at the Major Cineplex in Phnom Penh. Many more events will take place online due to travelling restrictions posed by the pandemic. To ensure the widest possible reach of the Festival while ensuring public safety, virtual performances and screenings will be available on the Festival’s official website. 


On-site Festival curtain-raiser: A curtain raiser offering a slice of the Festival programme to live audiences in Brussels, Belgium takes place from 15-26 November 2021. This includes an art installation featuring two giant, colourful inflatable heads inspired by popular Chinese masks with the addition of western elements; and the screening of White Building, the debut feature film of Cambodian director Kavich Neang which won the Best International Feature Film at the 94th Academy Awards as well as the Best Actor Award at the Orizzonti Venice Film Festival 2021. 

Official opening of the Festival: On 22 November 2021 in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Festival will be officially opened through a special presentation titled Colourful Cambodia. This features classical, folk and contemporary dances to be performed by exceptional artists from Cambodia and ASEM Partner countries. The line-up includes a welcome blessing dance, a harvest folk dance, Pounding the Gum-Lacquer, Rice, and Gems from Mozart at Angkor, highlighting Asia-Europe partnership through artistic approaches and the ASEM flag dance.  

Online programme: With some mobility and gathering restrictions still in place due to COVID-19, the Festival will bring several events virtually for our audiences not only in Asia and Europe, but globally. The online programme consists of a very diverse lineup, including performances, exhibitions, webinars and film screenings from ASEM Partner countries. These will be shown on the Festival website from 22 – 26 November 2021. 




Date: 15 and 22 November
Venue: Flagey Cultural Centre, Brussels, Belgium
White Building (Cambodia)

Date: From 22 to 26 November
Venue: Major Cineplex, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
The Gate (Cambodia)The Missing Picture (Cambodia)

White Soldier (Cambodia)The Last Reel (Cambodia)


Date: 15 - 26 November
Venue: Gallery St Hubert, Brussels, Belgium
Happy Heads (China and France)
Art Installation
Songs of Freedom 

Date: 22 November - 31 December
Venue: National Museum of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Encountering Cultures (Asia and Europe)
Group Exhibition
Il Nodo: A Sketch for Hope (Italy)

Things that Count (Cambodia)
Sahaka Playground (Cambodia)
Visual Arts

The Longest Voyage (Spain)
Happy Heads (China and France)
Art Installation

ONLINE EVENTS | 22 - 26 November 2021

Colorful Cambodia
Opening ceremony 
Kaminagahime (Japan)

Philippines' Days of Culture with No Barriers (Philippines)
Dance and Music
Kostroma (Russia)

A Tale of Two Shores (Singapore)
Oral Storytelling
Museum of Elsewhere (Italy)
Dance and Visual Arts

The Myth of Demon, Rahoo, and the Lunar Eclipse (Thailand)
Theatre and Puppetry
Concert Celebrating 50th Anniversary of China-Italy Diplomatic Relations (China and Italy)
Dance and Music

PLI (Czech Republic)
The Pulse (Spain)

Pythian Oratorio (Poland)
Theatre and Music
The Road to Mozart at Angkor (Cambodia)

White Gold Phare (Cambodia)
Theatre - Circus

Encountering Cultures (Cambodia)
Group exhibition featuring artists from Asia and Europe
The Longest Voyage (Spain)

Sahaka Playground (Cambodia)
Visual Arts
Il Nodo: A Sketch for Hope (Italy)

Things that Count (Cambodia)
Happy Heads (France and China)
Art Installation

Parallel Space: Meeting the Terracota Warriors in Greece (Greece)

Transcending Artscience Cultures (Malaysia)

At Home, Being Home: A Conversation with Artists from Europe and Asia (Spain)

Far but Close 

Guang (光) by Asian Film Festival (Italy)

Dafne by Asian Film Festival (Italy)

Rewind: Goethe Experimental

Presented by:


The festival is presented by the Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts of Cambodia (MCFA), in partnership with the European Union and the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

Asia-Europe Festival: 2021