French visual artist Claire Xuan is giving Hanoi art lovers a unique exhibition with an olfactory journey.
|A colourful work by Claire Xuan at the exhibition. — Photo courtesy of L'Espace|
Entitled ASAÉS – The Universe of Flavors, the exhibition is an artistic concept that Xuan has brought to many countries such as France, Morocco, Japan, China and Laos.
ASAÉS recreates five flavours: bitter (Amer), sweet (Sucré), sour (Acide), spicy (Epicé) and salty (Salé).
The exhibition offers a journey to discover the visual beauty and unique scents extracted from natural materials such as flowers, fruits, herbs and wood.
These flavours are used not only in cuisine and the perfume industry, but also in religious practices, especially those of the Asian people which the artist greatly appreciates.
“The exhibition will not simply be about photography but will be my completely new photography experiment,” said artist Xuan.
"I hope that this experiment also helps me to come back closer to my study of visual art and painting.”
Instead of printing the photos on paper, she chose canvas made from cotton fibre.
“We all know that the canvas is a material commonly used in oil paintings," she said. "The cotton fibre highlights the pixels. It will help my photographic works bring a completely different visual experience.”
As an artist with Vietnamese roots, Xuan has expressed her interest in Asian philosophies and the theory of the five elements, which is the inspiration and connection point of her creations.
The artist selected her fatherland to launch the ASAÉS project and celebrate the 20th anniversary of the publication of her first book, titled Việt Nam and The Five Elements with Elements d’édition publishing house.
The content of the photos is inspired by the artist’s travels to the countryside. She has compiled photos from trips to Vietnam, Laos, China, Japan, Morocco and southern France where she takes photos of landscapes, plants and flowers.
“The gentle images of that nature, if we re-arrange them according to an intention or an imagination they will bring a new visual effect full of soul,” said Xuan. “Viewers can receive both cultural and heritage experiences in these works.”
Visitors will have the opportunity to admire the full set of works which the artist has introduced for the first time.
In addition to the visual works, visitors can experience different smells through a series of small jars created specifically for the exhibition. They can guess the unique scents selected by the artist from natural materials.
The exhibition will runs until June 30 at L'Espace French Cultural Centre, 24 Trang Tien, Hanoi.