François Fontaine

"LOST IN ASIA"

Lost in Asia is one of the three series of the exhibition Rêve d'Orient realized in the Far East between 2005 and 2008.

 
 
 

«I have constructed these three series as many cinematographic shots, seeking to transmit through my framing and my colorist approach a timeless and poetic vision of Asia. In the summer of 2005, I took the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Beijing, crossing Mongolia. On board this mythical train, I was interested in the silence of forms, the density of materials and the sensuality of bodies. I then toured mainland China. Impressed by its dreamlike power, I chose to transpose the reality of what I perceived into a symphony of colours and sensations, where poetry and dream dominated. I sought to restore the traces and scents of a millenary China that was disappearing. In the streets of Beijing, Guangzhou and Shanghai, I had the extreme sensation that there was like the permanence of a Chinese aesthetic that had crossed the ages and marked this country in full mutation. In the spring of 2008, I went to Japan where my father, a naval officer, had lived. Like the shoji, those doors that slide in traditional houses, I was immersed in a silent and aesthetic world. The resemblance between people and nature was the most striking thing. The furtive figures interviewed in the Shinjuku bars in Tokyo, the frail silhouettes slipping in the alleys of Gion in Kyoto strangely resembled the prints of my childhood. So were the hybrid and fantastic forms covered by the trees and bamboos of the Kanazawa and Kamakura gardens. The places and landscapes were marked by a disturbing ghostly atmosphere. Japan, more than any other country, gave me the extreme feeling of blending into nature and floating on clouds. »

François Fontaine

Doctor in Art History, exhibition curator and editor in chief in the magazine press, he has been passionate about travel and photography since a very young age. He currently lives and works in Paris. For about ten years he travelled throughout Southeast Asia and photographed the Mekong, Angkor and the prisoners of Phnom Penh, which earned him an award at the Kodak Prize for Photographic Criticism in 1997. From 1998 to 2002, he lived and worked in Spain. His series Poésie urbaine and Les fleurs de la nuit are exhibited in Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Paris. Since 1991, his photographs have been published in the press and exhibited in galleries and museums in France and abroad (Maison Européenne de la Photographie, Institut Lumière, Paris Photo) and abroad (Guangdong Museum of Art, Photo Beijing, Paris Photo Los Angeles). François Fontaine, whose privileged themes are travel, poetry and dreams, elaborates a timeless photographic work guided by his intuitions and emotions. His inspiration comes mainly from his encounters, his long travels as well as from literature and cinema.

 

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