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Voyages photographiques by Jean-Baptiste Huynh

Voyages photographiques by Jean-Baptiste Huynh

From February 20th to May 20th, 2019, Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, will show eleven works by the French photographer with Vietnamese roots, Jean-Baptiste Huynh, in a continuation of the exhibition INFINIS D’ASIE, at the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts. Guests and visitors alike at the Shangri-La, former home of Prince Roland Bonaparte, can discover or rediscover the photographs of a self-taught photographer, who has won numerous prizes and distinctions for work featuring recurrent themes including the portrait, the gaze, self-image, light, timelessness and our relationship with the infinite.

Entitled VOYAGES PHOTOGRAPHIQUES, the exhibition was designed by the artist especially for the Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, and begins in the lobby with four travel portraits, continues into the Bar Botaniste with two works of plants from the JAPON series, referencing Roland Bonaparte’s passion for vegetal life. At the entrance to La Bauhinia restaurant, two large-format works create a magnificent face-off.

Inside La Bauhinia are two portraits: a young man photographed at the Shangri-La Oman, OMAN - Portrait 1, made just a few weeks ago at Shangri-La Al Husn Resort & Spa, Mascate, Oman. The voyage culminates under the restaurant’s majestic glass cupola, with a photographic sculpture, NATURE, original new work by the artist created especially for the Palace. The work is composed of a photograph of a blackberry, a melon, a nectarine, an artichoke and a speckled apple, which appears cosmic, turned towards the sky in its position opposite the glass roof of the restaurant.

For the occasion, Chef Christophe Moret has created a menu at 30 euros at La Bauhinia, including a starter and a main course or a main course and a dessert, and a priority ticket for the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts. Museum visitors will also benefit from a 20% discount at La Bauhinia on the à la carte menu, from Monday to Saturday, upon presentation of their exhibition ticket (excluding offers, drinks and special events).

Menu VOYAGES PHOTOGRAPHIQUES - 30 euros - Valid for lunch from Monday to Saturday. 20% discount on the menu, from Monday to Saturday, upon presentation of the INFINIS D'ASIE exhibition ticket (excluding offers, drinks and special events).

Information and reservation by e-mail: labauhinia.slpr@shangri-la.com or by phone: + 33 1 53 67 19 91.

A natural collaboration between Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, and the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts 

For Shangri-La Hotel, Paris, a Palace hotel that bears the mark of Asian culture, the collaboration with the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts was a natural step. Through the theme of travel explored by Jean-Baptiste Huynh, Shangri-La pays tribute to Roland Bonaparte, an erudite aristocrat and great traveller. By coincidence or fate, Prince Roland also travelled the breadth of the Asian continent, from the Far East, Indonesia and India, to the Mongol regions of northern China and Tibet. 

These later journeys inspired his Collection of Documents from the Mongol Period, a notable contribution to the great wave of curiosity and interest for China, in Europe. Roland Bonaparte shared with his contemporary, Emile Guimet, founder of the Museum, a common passion for science, a taste for adventure and discovery. Nearly a century later, while his former home has become a Palace-grade hotel, a welcome space for travellers where cultures from around the world meet and merge, this heritage takes on new meaning with the exhibition VOYAGES PHOTOGRAPHIQUES.

The Oman man: The story of a portrait 

“For 30 years, I have been journeying through elegant hotels and modest guest houses, setting up my camera, my black backdrop and my light in markets in the four corners of the world. This search for authentic faces, with their ancestral morphology and limpid gazes, as well as cosmic vegetables in metaphorical shapes, motivated what remain, for me, expeditions.

January 2019, Oman: along with my camera, my black backdrop and my light – the same that I have been using for decades – precious allies of the gaze that have travelled with me to guesthouses in Mali, tents in Ethiopia, monasteries in Japan and India and to telescopes in the deserts of Greenland and Chile, I unpack my cases and traveling studio in the Shangri-La Oman, a prestigious palace hotel anchored in minimalist design opposite a crystalline sea.

I go out to get to know Muscat, full of the exaltation of knowing nothing of this country and this culture. Twenty metres down the road, I see a man, attractive, carrying his head high, wearing a beautiful keffiyeh. I approach him and tell him that I would like to photograph him.

He seems just as surprised to see me there as he is by my request, I explain to him that I am a portraitist, an artist and tell him what about him has inspired me. I convince him; “OK, go ahead, take a picture of me,” he says. “My camera and all my equipment weigh 50kg, my travelling studio is set up where I’m staying, just over there,” I tell him, indicating the hotel. “Come with me, I’ll take a fine image of you and you can have it to keep afterwards.” He follows me. A story of a portrait.

Jean-Baptiste Huynh - Biography 

Jean-Baptiste Huynh was born in France in 1966, to a French mother and a Vietnamese father. From 2006 until 2012, he worked on a study of light through six photographic projects: MIROIRS (2006), CREPUSCULES (2007), FEU (2008), MONOCHROME (2009), LOUVRE (2011) and AVEUGLES (2012), brought together in the book Lumière, that accompanied the solo exhibition at the Louvre dedicated to Huynh. His photographic research also explores reflection, in the studies MIRIORS (2006) and REFLECTION (2014-2018), the third phase of which focused on otherness, apparitions and infinity through the study of mercury mirrors

A Villa Médicis Hors les Murs laureate for Vietnam, Jean-Baptiste Huynh exhibits in major museums and galleries worldwide. In 2002, the Maison Européenne de la Photographie presented the exhibition Yeux, and an accompanying volume of portraits by Jean-Baptiste of major international photographers and painters.

In 2006, the Ecole Nationale des Beaux-Arts de Paris devoted a retrospective to him, Le Regard à l’Oeuvre, which brought together his studies of the human face through travel portraits in a variety of world cultures. In 2012, the Louvre invited him to stage Rémanence, a solo exhibition bringing together new work inspired by objects from the Museum’s collections.

In 2017, the Musée National des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet offered him carte blanche to stage an exhibition. The project is now seeing the light of day in 2019, as a retrospective of his existing work in Asia, enriched with new photographs made over the past two years, in the MNAAG collection and images from REFLECTION – ASIE, focusing on the diversity of the female face in Asia. In a continuation of this, Jean-Baptiste Huynh is developing a wider portraiture project: WOMAN 2018-2021, showcasing the beauty of the female face in all its universality and timelessness.

A selection will be shown at Galerie Lelong in Paris, from February 18th to May 11th, 2019, on avenue Matignon, in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. Accompanying this research, is a series of interviews with personalities from diverse areas, on the theme of beauty. In 2019, Jean-Baptiste Huynh will also be showing work at Patrick Gutknecht Gallery, in Geneva, at Camera Work Gallery in Berlin, as well as at the Multimedia Art Museum in Moscow, in Russia. In parallel to INFINIS D’ASIE, he is showing a specific exhibition at Shangri-La Hotel, Paris.

About the Guimet National Museum of Asian Arts 

Inherited from the generosity, taste and spirit of adventure and discovery of Émile Guimet, the National Museum of Asian Arts, which bears his name, holds an important place amongst French museums, and more generally amongst Western museums, as a most remarkable institution. One of the widest collections of Asian arts in the world, the main building, place d’Iéna, offers a complete journey through the arts, civilisations and cultures of Asia.

Émile Guimet’s founding project was continued throughout the 20th Century with scientific contributions of an exceptional line of researchers, pioneer archaeologists, who combined passion and knowledge with an audacity which led some of them to heroic actions. With their talent, courage and dedication, Louis Delaporte, Paul Pelliot, Maria and Joseph Hacquin, Edouard Chavannes, to mention but a few, have given to the museum its artistic richness, scientific renown and international prestige.

The MNAAG expands on three sites: the main museum, place d’Iéna, the Hôtel d’Heidelbach, where one can admire the collections of Chinese furniture and a traditional Japanese tea house, and the Museum d’Ennery, an open window on Japonism at the end of the 19th Century.

Loyal to its missions of research and transmission of knowledge, the MNAAG offers a rich and wide program, with several exhibitions every year, such as Cartes blanches given to contemporary artists.

The spirit of the MNAAG also includes an ambitious acquisition policy, the Émile Guimet Asian literature Award, events beyond its walls, and a rich artistic and cultural program open on all aspects of Asian culture and creation.

Die Hongkonger Hotelkette Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts betreibt über 100 Hotels mit insgesamt mehr als 41.000 Zimmern. Shangri-La-Hotels sind Fünf-Sterne-Anlagen mit umfangreichem Angebot an Ausstattung und Dienstleistungen. Shangri-La-Hotels gibt es in Australien, der Volksrepublik China, Fidschi, Frankreich, Großbritannien, Indien, Indonesien, Japan, Kanada, Katar, Malaysia, den Malediven, Mauritius, Myanmar, der Mongolei, den Philippinen, Saudi Arabien, Singapur, Sri Lanka, dem Sultanat Oman, Taiwan, Thailand, der Türkei und den Vereinigten Arabische Emiraten. Zudem plant der Konzern weitere Projekte in der Volksrepublik China, Hongkong, Kambodscha, Indonesien, Malaysia und Saudi-Arabien. Mehr Informationen erhalten Sie auf www.shangri-la.com.

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Pauline Thomann
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