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Rencontre et signature au Musée national des Arts asiatiques–Guimet à Paris.
Born in 1966, Claire Xuan is a visual artist, a photograph and graphic designer. She works and lives in the Regional Nature Park of the Vexin, west of Paris. Having Vietnamese origins, she has been highly inspired by oriental philosophies and more specifically by the concept of the 5 fundamental elements of Asia – at the core of her creativity. After studying visual arts and design, Claire devoted herself to photography and left France for the United-States in 1991. In California, surrounded by visual artists, Claire learned the publishing professions. Once back in France, her artistic skills and knowledge of different art professions and approaches led her to create a concept of book-objects. These works are unique collections of photographs in their conception, combining books of fine art photography with handmade boxes of antique prints.
Only in 1996 did Claire Xuan eventually go to the land of her ancestors in Vietnam to create her first opus. This journey to the cradle of her origins and inspiration gave rise to many reports till 1998 when Éléments d’édition was founded and the portfolio Vietnam and the five Elements was released.
For nearly 20 years now, Claire Xuan has been publishing limited editions of travel journals, created on the five continents for “the Five Elements Collection” including 11 portfolios among which 5 are dedicated to Asia. She leads the conception, creation and distribution process and also works on commission in the corporation promotion field. There are no more than 29 original prints of her photographs. Her works of art can be seen and purchased during the exhibitions that have been organized in many countries since 1999 or directly from the artist.
The Five Elements Theory
The Yin-Yang system was completed by the concept of the 5 Elements several centuries B.C. The 5 Universal Elements Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water are not to be considered in the chemical sense. Though often deprived of their material value, they remain the origin of all things. Each element comes into contact with the one it gives rise to when the succession process is natural.
This ancestral philosophy is based on the observation of Nature, of the way it works and perpetually changes. Any thing in the Universe is the result of creation and destruction cycles. Any natural phenomenon including the phenomena specific to the human body may then be classified according to this rule. Hence the following classification:
The sustaining, creation cycle: Yang
Wood sustains Fire,
Fire sustains Earth,
Earth sustains Metal,
Metal sustains Water,
Water sustains Wood.
On the opposite, the Elements can also get in conflict with each other when the process is accidental. The Five Elements then supplant each other as follows:
The vanquishing, destruction cycle: Yin
Water vanquishes Fire,
Fire vanquishes Metal,
Metal vanquishes Wood,
Wood vanquishes Earth,
Earth vanquishes Water.
Elements and correspondences
Claire Xuan’s creative work has been freely inspired by the concept of the 5 Elements and their correspondences.
The creation and destruction cycles reveal the harmonious way the elements actually interrelate.
Indeed, according to this oriental philosophy, each of the 5 elements corresponds to an animal, a plant, a season, emotion…
In Vietnam and the five Elements, Earth is epitomized by a buffalo, Fire by incense.
In Madagascar Wood, Earth and Water are symbols of the great island.
Iceland depicts the constant conflict opposing Water and Earth.
Wood, Earth and Water are part of Provence, the last but one portfolio.
These 3 elements are also to be found in Japan. While Earth -materialized by sculpted stone- borders on the mountains north of the Archipelago, Wood -symbolized by the fine shades of green of the island forests- becomes glowing red in autumn and Water is represented by the deepest lake in the country and the famous “koi” carps of the temples.
Tea and Temples from Korea is extensively dedicated to these 5 Elements- constituent of the tea ritual. They indeed pervade all the steps of the cultivation and production of tea as well as the rituals performed in temples, at home or in teahouses.
As for the last opus, its title encompasses the whole book: Stories and history of Wood on Water.
Timber floating in the Morvan which features prominently in this edition perfectly epitomizes Wood and Water: the two Elements most photographed and represented in the artist’s work.
Stories and history of Wood on Water
Tea and Temples from Korea
A trip through Paris
Vietnam and the Five Elements
Techniques and papers
EXHIBITIONS & MEETINGS
- Guedelon Castle. Meeting and signature of
“Stories and history of Wood on Water”/Treigny August 2016
- « Salon des dames » Book fair / Nevers. November 2015
- Cultural center « l’Hermine » / Sarzeau. Exhibition and meeting. November 2015
- Les Abattoirs / Avallon. Exhibition. September 2015
- Art and history Museum in Clamecy. Exhibition. May – September 2015
- Exhibition « Samouraïs». Nantes Castle / Meeting and signature of « Japan ». August 2014
- • National Asian Arts Museum– The Guimet Museum Meeting and signature of « Teas and Temples from Korea”. / Paris. October 2012 – January 2013
- Musée d’arts asiatiques – Guimet. « Le thé, histoire d’une boisson millénaire ».Rencontre / Paris. Décembre 2012
- National Asian Arts Museum– The Guimet Museum , “History of a thousand-year-old beverage” Meeting / Paris. December 2012
- La Folie des Plantes/ Exposition et rencontre/ Nantes. Septembre 2012
- Quai des Brumes Bookstore/ Meeting and signature / Strasbourg. October 2012
- La Folie des Plantes / Exhibition and meeting/ Nantes. September 2012
- « Promenons-nous dans les bois ». International year of forests / Bagatelle Gallery. Paris. 2011
- 13 rue Vernier . October 2009 – January 2010
- Canon Head office France / Courbevoie. February – March 2009
- FNAC Bookstore/ « In the open Air »/ Aix-en-Provence. November – December 2008
- Press Club in France/ Paris. November – December 2008
- Office of Tourism/ « In the open Air »/ Aix-en-Provence. September – October 2008
- Bagatelle Gallery« In the open Air » / August – November 2008
- Premiere of movie « Madagascar »/ Palais des Congrès de Paris. June 2004
- Festival of « carnets de voyages » in Brest/ June 2003
- Embassy of Iceland/ Paris. November 2002
- Virgin Megastore/ Paris. December 2002
- Biennale of « Carnets de Voyages »/ Clermont-Ferrand. November 2001
- Dialogues Bookstore/ Brest. November 2001
- Goulard Bookstore/ Aix-en-Provence. October 2001
- The Marple Pavillon/ Avon. September 2001
- « Amazing travelers festival »/ Saint-Malo. May 2001
IN THE REST OF THE WORLD
- Taipei International Book Fair / Exhibition and signature / Taipei. February 2012
- Le Pigeonnier Bookstore / Taipei, October 2010
- Seoul International Book Fair. Exhibition and signature. October 2011
- Kinokunya Bookstore / Sapporo. July 2008
- French Alliance in Osaka / June 2008
- French-Japanese Institute in TokyoçJune 2008
- French-Japanese Institute in Kyushu Fukuoka. May – June 2008
- United Nations Gallery / Tokyo. May – June 2008
- Gallery 21 and French-Japanese Institute in Tokyo. / Exhibition and signature. December 2006 – January 2007
- French Alliances in Madagascar.February – June 2007 Antananarivo – Antsirabe – Diego – Majunga
- French Alliance in Singapore. February 2006
- Royal Siam Society de Bangkok. March 2005
- L’L’Espace, Cultural center in Hanoï / April 2005
- L’L’Olivier, Sofitel Plazza Saigon in Saigon. April 2005
- Reykjavik museum of photography.Summer 2003
- French Institutes in Morocco / Marrakech, Casablanca. January 2003
- Le carrefour des livres Bookstore / Casablanca. February 2003
FINE ART PHOTOGRAPHIC PRINTS
Prices available on request depending on size and quality of prints
All rights reserved.