Maison européenne de la photographie | Mémoire et lumière

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Location Maison européenne de la photographie, 5/7 rue de Fourcy 75004 Paris

Opening hours 11:00 – 19:45 from Wednesday to Sunday from 28 June 2017 to 27 August 2017

General curator Jean-Luc Monterosso

Curator Pascal Hoël

Collaboration Frédérique Dolivet, Diane Kitzis

Support Ambassade du Japon en France

Media partnership A Nous Paris, Connaissance des Arts, UGC

Among all exhibitions I have ever visited, this is one of the hardest to take. Japan, after World War II.

It has just rained, and there were not many people. It was mostly quiet. The exhibition is divided into five parts, showing photos taken by Japanese photographers after the War. Not all photos were taken in Japan; some were in the US, Hong Kong, and the UK, but they didn’t hit me that much. I mean, of course they are very good works, and they preserve a certain period of history so that we can learn about that time today, but during the whole visit, for me, these photos of joyful scenes outside Japan were more like a break from the sight of the aftermath of the explosion.

There are pictures of items, ruins, animals, and people. The clothes were burnt, the bottles were melted, the food was carbonised. The houses were turned into pieces, the parks were covered in ashes. Beings were hurt, killed, or left alive with pain and scars. It’s sad, but I couldn’t even shed a tear. When reading the sentences that victims have written, images appeared in my mind, and it was terrible. Some people smiled, some cried, screamed, some just stared at the camera, their eyes blank. The effect of what happened to them erased all emotions. The atomic bombs finally made the victory of the War, but what did it really bring? Whose victory was it? And who took the suffering of the losers?

This is the absurd side of war. When I was in Bordeaux this summer, I remember meeting a guy who apologised for thinking that I was Japanese. He thought that it was offensive to me, since I later told him I was Chinese. I’m not blaming him; a lot of people in China thinks the same. I’m just saying that the past is the past, and there is no reason hating a nation just because so many years ago, when many of us were not even born, some of them became devils. Most people don’t want war, but when the fighting starts, you can’t sit aside and go, ‘I’m not in, because I don’t like it.’ It’s not up to you.

So in the end, those who don’t want to fight are sent to kill, but they don’t necessarily enjoy the victory.

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Galerie Marie Vitoux | Regard

Galerie Marie Vitoux | Regard

Location Galerie Marie Vitoux, 3 rue d’Ormesson place Sainte-Catherine 75004 Paris

Opening hours 14:00 – 19:00 from Wednesday to Saturday from 1 June 2017 to 22 July 2017

Artists Sarah Navasse, Mireille Arbellot, Nathalie Bourdreux, Alixe Fu, Abraham Hadad, Maryl Le Berre, Alain Nahum, Jean-Charles Quillin, Marie Rauzy, Ciro Rizzo, Bea Vangertruyden, Christophe Mirallès, Serge Labegorre, Jean Rustin

It’s still because of a newsletter from Sarah Navasse. The gallery is on a little road in the Marais, and it’s easy to go be ignored. The inside is not large either, but the atmosphere is quite interesting. There’s the ground floor, then some spiral staircases that lead to the basement. The whole place looks old but neat, and loads and loads of artworks are in stock.

At the reception was a friendly old lady and a nice girl who could speak English. The entry is free, and there are some books and postcards for sale.

The title of the exhibition is ‘regard’. It’s not the English word; it’s a noun in French, and it means ‘look’. I didn’t know what to expect at first. The displayed works present different looks in the eyes of different people, or even mannequins (Alain Nahum). There are paintings, photos and sculptures; in some works, you can distinguish the eyes, in some you can’t, but you still feel the stare. It’s a bit like a nightmare in the basement where you’re surrounded by paintings of eyes fixing tensely on you, but at the same time, when you get over it, it’s fun to observe all the looks, to ‘stare back’. I don’t deny that some works are really horrifying, though. I haven’t done any research on any of the works, so I was only imagining what the artists were going through when they created those pieces. Several constantly reminded me of depression or some other psychological problems.

Still, I really like this exhibition. When I was younger, one of my best friends, Eva, once told me that when she was bored, she’d observe everyone in the street, and she would find them very funny and would laugh so hard. I mean, when we really watch carefully, we find that everyone has a certain way of looking at other people and things, and through their looks are conveyed their attitudes. Then, different people take different looks differently according to their own style, according to how they observe the looks. I think that’s the point of this exhibition.

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Musée d’Orsay | Portraits de Cézanne

Musée d’Orsay | Portraits de Cézanne

Location Musée d’Orsay, 1 Rue de la Légion d’Honneur 75007 Paris France

Opening hours 9:30 – 18:00 from Tuesday to Wednesday and from Friday to Sunday, 9:30 – 21:45 on Thursdays, closed on Mondays, from 13 June 2017 to 24 September 2017

General curator John Elderfield, independant curator and art historian

Curator Xavier Rey, Director of the museums of Marseille

Organisers the Musée d’Orsay, Paris; the National Portrait Gallery, London; the National Gallery of Art, Washington

Exhibition also presented in
London, National Portrait Gallery, from 26 October 2017 to 11 February 2018
Washington, National Gallery of Art, from 25 March to 1st July 2018

I hadn’t paid special attention to the portraits of Paul Cézanne until this exhibition. During his career, though, he has painted almost 200 portraits, among which we can see himself. his wife, his family, and his friends.

The first was a self-portrait based on a photo. Honestly, it scared me at first look. There is no doubt that with the strokes of bright red colour, the way the eyes stare, the greenish grey shade of the visage, and the dark background, the painting says much more than the photo.

Cézanne painted people with efficiency and simplicity, but always getting the spirit of them, giving his portraits an interesting comical touch. The wide strokes and thick paints, the mixture and contrast of colours, the relations between the figure and its environment, the dark and clear contours, these are the characteristics that appear in most of his oil portraits.

My personal favourites also include a sketch of a bust of a man. It’s a very quick sketch, not so detailed, nevertheless precise and clean. It’s the same with his paintings, be it portraits, still lives, or landscapes. They are not as detailed as classical works; only the most vivid were kept.

The exhibition is not a very large one, but is indeed a great collection of carefully selected portraits by Cézanne. A chronology of  events throughout his lifetime is also presented, like at the exhibition of Frédéric Bazille, but in the middle instead of the end. With this chronology, and as you think about all his paintings, it can be seen how his artworks changed through time, while some things still stayed the same.

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31 MAY 2017 ILLUSTRATIONS


YES I’M PICKING UP FASHION DESIGN AGAIN. THE PORTRAIT IS JUST SOMETHING I SUDDENLY FEEL LIKE DRAWING THIS MORNING. I’M STARTING A NEW THEME THAT’S INSPIRED BY FLOWERS. THERE ARE ALL KINDS OF ROSES AND OTHER LOVELY FLOWERS IN THE GARDEN ALONG THE ROOFTOP ACROSS FROM MY HOME + IT’S AMAZING. THIS IS A SERIOUS RECOMMENDATION THAT IF YOU EVER GO TO GARE DE LYON IN PARIS, GO TO BOULEVARD DIDEROT, TAKE A TURN AT PASSAGE HENNEL, + TAKE THE STAIRS TO THE GARDEN. IT LEADS ALL THE WAY TO BASTILLE + IS ONE OF THE MOST BEAUTIFUL THING I’VE EVER SEEN.

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27 MAY 2017 ILLUSTRATIONS

BEEN A LONG LONG TIME SINCE I LAST POSTED ANYTHING. ILLUSTRATION, VISUAL IDENTITY AND ANALYTICAL DRAWING COURSES HAVE JUST ENDED, SO I FINALLY HAVE SOME TIME FOR THESE.

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17 APR 2017 FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS

FINALLY ONE PROJECT DONE! SO NOW IT’S JUST THE ANALYSIS. USED CHINESE PAINTING TECHNIQUES AGAIN FOR THE SISLEY POSTER. FOR THE SECOND ONE THE MARKERS DIDN’T WORK SO WELL MOSTLY BECAUSE I DON’T HAVE THE RIGHT COLOUR SO BASICALLY I’M REPAINTING THE WHOLE THING WITH WATER TO MIX THE COLOURS…REALLY LOVE THE DRESS IN THE THIRD ONE, IT REMINDS ME OF THE ROBES IN FANTASTIC BEASTS + WHERE TO FIND THEM. THE GLITTER PENS AREN’T SO CLEAR IN THE PHOTO BUT IT ACTUALLY LOOKS VERY COOL! + I HAVE TO GO TO THE EXHIBITION AGAIN I ONLY FINISHED THE GROUND FLOOR + HAVEN’T YET TAKEN A GOOD LOOK AT THE ENTIRE FIRST FLOOR.

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16 APR 2017 FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS

NOT REALLY IN THE MOOD TODAY SO NOT VERY PROGRESSIVE. HAPPY EASTER!

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15 APR 2017 PAINTINGS

WORKING ON THE ANALYSIS FOR ILLUSTRATION CLASS BECAUSE THE FINAL ENTRETIEN [WHICH IS GONNA DECIDE WHETHER I CAN CONTINUE IN THIS SCHOOL] IS SCHEDULED ON 21 APR AND SADLY I’M THE FIRST TO PASS IT…SO BASICALLY I HAVE LESS THAN ONE WEEK TO FINISH ALL ANALYSIS FOR 4 PAINTINGS PLUS THE FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS. + I HAVEN’T YET GOT THE TIME TO ORGANISE THE PHOTOS FROM BORDEAUX SINCE I’VE JUST FINISHED THE CHECKOUT PROCESS OF MY OLD APARTMENT YESTERDAY. ANYWAYS…INK OF CHINA IS A VERY USEFUL THING.

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20 MAR 2017 FASHION ILLUSTRATION PROJECT UPDATE

THIS IS THE NEW PROJECT OF OUR ILLUSTRATION CLASS, 14 FASHION ILLUSTRATIONS IN TOTAL. WORK IN PROGRESS, GONNA FINISH IN TWO WEEKS OR SO.

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