Food lab

The Jan van Eyck launched its Food Lab in January 2018 to facilitate an in-depth research platform for artists in relation to food; to experiment with food, to actively explore what food means today, and to consider its relationship to ecological and social issues. The kitchen and café-restaurant are the practical manifestations of the Food Lab, where ideas are tried and tested by participants and public alike. 

Artists, chefs and designers whose practice has symbiosis with this sphere of thinking and its practical approaches are invited to apply via the regular Open Call for Applications between July and October. We encourage applicants to enrich the Food Lab each year with their individual visions of food futures.


Our concept and vision for the lunch café is based around three main principles; local, seasonal, and organic produce from independent small-holding farmers, absolute minimum waste and recycling and plant-based sustainability. Combined, these three principles support and encourage an experimental approach to the preparation and preservation of our food.



Food Lab participants 2019/2020 are:


Asako Iwama (born in Tokyo, Japan) is an artist and cook, who lives and works in Tokyo and Berlin. Asako Iwama’s practice has developed around the idea of the ontology of eating. Referring to the social aspects of eating as a metaphor of our relation to nature, Iwama seeks to transform the perception of nourishment, both aesthetically and epistemologically within her practice and work. From 2005 to 2014 she worked at Studio Olafur Eliasson in Berlin. She is the founder of the collective group pop-up café.


Jorge Menna Barreto (b. 1970, Brazil) is an artist and researcher. Throughout his practice, Barreto has let specific sites determine what he will build and, more recently, what he will eat. Interested in agroforestry, land art, site-specificity, plant-based food and multispecies assemblages, he considers our digestive system as a sculptural tool that has the ability to shape and regenerate the environment. His award-winning, long-term project Restauro: environmental sculpture was first presented at the 32nd Bienal of São Paulo in 2016 and travelled to the Serpentine Galleries in London, in 2017. His plans for the residency at the Jan van Eyck is aimed at working collaboratively with Joélson Buggilla at the Food Lab, the Lab for Nature Research and the Printing & Publishing Lab, attempting to create an ecosystem that short circuits the surface of the page, the surface of the earth and the food on our plates.


Joélson Buggilla (b. 1986, Brazil) is an artist and graphic designer whose research interests involves books, publications and newspapers. Having collaborated with different artists to create published materials, he sees books and publications as extensions of their work, beyond the documentary aspect. As an artist, he has worked with collage and intervening on printed matter, such as newspapers, reorganizing form, colour and content. At JVE he will be working closely with participant Jorge Menna Barreto as duo, mainly at the Food Lab and the Print Lab. 


In 2018 Rain Wu was the first Van Eyck participant to run the Food Lab in collaboration with chef Marente van der Valk.



The Food Lab can be contacted for the following: 

Events Catering / Workshops: please contact Anne Vangronsveld

Food Lab / Artist Collaboration / Exhibitions / External Catering: please contact Marente van der Valk


You can follow the Food Lab on Instagram:


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