After graduating, Marc worked for a number of weaving mills, where he became familiar with the velvet industry, and in 1971 fell under the spell of the visual arts. They went together that year to Lausanne in Switzerland, where the Tapestry Biennial is held. ‘It is the Biennial year in which the young, new Japanese textile artists first show their work in Western Europe. The impression that this makes on Marc Van Hoe is enormous…’ (to quote freely from Mireille Houtzager, page 10, ‘Marc Van Hoe’, Oostkamp, 2010). Later he meets Pierre Daquin (France, 1935), who holds workshops ‘in which people experiment with modern tapestry techniques’ (Mireille Houtzager, idem, page 10). ‘They have a lot to tell each other, and much to learn from each other in the togetherness of experimentation’, writes Mireille on page 11 of her essay on Marc.
Image, form and materiality become characteristic of his work. In 1977, Van Hoe goes solo, and, in 1979, he and Veerle decide to set up their own industrial textile and visual art studio, by the name of ‘Tekstielateljee’. I myself got to know Marc a little later, in 1978-79, when he too was teaching at the Academy in Kortrijk. Marc came into my field of view through Hilde D’Haeseleer, a friend and former colleague of mine, who specialised in contemporary textile art. I remember it well. The man bubbled with enthusiasm for textile art, and, to our pleasant surprise, was extremely well informed about contemporary art. Our paths crossed time and again after that.