"A nous la mode !"
Exhibition portfolio commented on by the artists
When young photographers look at today’s new designers, they see a pretty crazy emerging scene. Creativity feeding inspiration feeding creativity. The inventive and daring style of these young designers results in subjects that feed the photographers’ imaginations and lets them explore their emotions, obsessions and desires.
The photographers selected for the exhibition, A nous la mode!, part of the first Franco-Chinese Fashion Meetings are very young. Lin Zhipeng was born in 1979, Paul Rousteau and Liu Shuwei in 1985, Louise Desnos, the youngest, was born in 1991. They have the distinction of developing parallel portfolios in fashion and art, drawing from each a singular inspiration, which in turn illuminates the other. Freed from complexity, reversing situations and genres, working their photos as the painter does their palette, these talented artists capture silhouettes drawn by others armed with their personality, in the same way that they sometimes use the codes of fashion to build their own personal universe.
We asked each photographer to select and comment on three of their images related to fashion.
Exhibition "A nous la mode !" – Photos of Louise Desnos, Lin Zhipeng, Liu Shuwei and Paul Rousteau (Curator: Doors)
Shanghai from 28 March to 19 April Bailian Group Fashion Centre – YQL, 955 Suzhou Nan Lu, Huangpu District
Beijing from 31 March to 23 April Temple 东景缘 – 23 Shatan Bei Jie, Dongcheng District
Xiamen from 28 April to 27 June Three Shadows Photography Art Centre
Chengdu from 8 May to 8 June Museum of Chengdu
After just five years, the strong character Louise Desnos expresses in her work as photographer and videographer is clear to see. Her photos first gained recognition at the 2016 International Festival of Fashion and Photography at Hyères-Villa Noailles - a celebrated European fashion and art platform– at which the public discovered her series Acedia, inspired by the ability we all have to be lazy. The following year, she got into fashion photography by shooting young designers selected at the Hyères festival. Her practice maintains a paradoxical relationship with the daily hazards that she captures or provokes. She insists on details - plastic bags emerging from somewhat trashy landscapes or sophisticated fringes on designer trousers; on surfaces - grains of skin or limestone rocks on which models crawl - and abysses - sink piping as folds of silky clothing. Her photographs are stories in their own right, and ultimately, pretexts for her infinite search for signs. Louise Desnos has photographed the models of designers Marine Serre, Octo-Arcane, Mariana Ladreyt, and Hyunwoo.
Lin Zhipeng, aka No. 223 (after the name of Takeshi Kaneshiro's policeman in Wong Kar-wai's cult film, Chungking Express), had been destined to go into finance before finding his vocation as a photographer in 2004. He works in both fashion and advertising, and has edited a fashion magazine for the last seven years. Lin Zhipeng shoots his own work in the same way that he shoots for a brand: his models appear to be from a tightknit circle of friends and seem to hang out in teenagers’ rooms revelling in the playful disorderly scene. The ridiculous situations in which he sometimes places his characters (food that falls or drips from entangled bodies) are inspired but also counterbalanced by a controlled aesthetic of colour and shape. The result is a work that is both poetic and provocative in its diary-like revelations of a certain type of Chinese youth, without complexes in terms of sex and pleasure, off the beaten track. Lin Zhipeng has worked for Suen, Chictopia, United Nude, Glaceau Vitamin Water, Bacardi, Stuart Weitzman.
Based in Shanghai, Liu Shuwei, an engineer by training, has fortunately for us decided to be a photographer and videographer. To his credit, his body of photographs reveals the sensitive and romantic personality of an artist, as well as the structure and attention to detail of an architect (or engineer ...). The medium of photography, whether for personal projects (Friendship and the Pink Triangle) or for commissions, allows him to evoke topics that are important to him, such as the shared experience of individuals. He is strongly inspired by literature and cinema (notably Jean Genet and Derek Jarman). His characters, where they appear, are enigmatic whether as friends or solitary, and traverse lunar landscapes or the interiors of houses haunted by good spirits, much like of the images of Wim Wenders. Like the German filmmaker he admires, Liu Shuwei starts out with bright colours which he animates with a poetry that is very much his, and close to people he seems to love deeply. The work of Liu Shuwei is regularly published in fashion magazines (Vogue Italia, Elsewhere ...) and he has collaborated with designers Momo Wang, Chaotic, Pure Idealism.
Paul Rousteau loves colour, infinitely and almost to the point of excess. His taste may have developed during childhood, as he was raised in Auvergne - a region of central France characterized by broad and wild landscapes - in a hippie family that made him appreciate the simple life close to nature. His recognizable style is expressed in all his projects, whether commissioned or personal: deformed silhouettes, foggy effects, gliding and diffuse lightness, and especially cool and striking colours, which literally construct the photography, as in a painting by Monet or Matisse. No Photoshop post-production for Paul. He uses the most traditional of photographic techniques. He shoots through the lense or glass, and prints on special paper that tends to make the colours run a little. Paul Rousteau has worked for Agnès B, Pigalle Paris, Claudie Pierlot, Eddy Anemian, Asos.