Sculpture is a powerful and universal chant. It lives from silence. It is created in solitude, cut off from the outside world to help the work come true.
French sculptor VAL’s exhibition entitled “Anatomy of a Creative Path” is on display at CAFA Art Museum and it will remain on view till April 4, 2016. The opening ceremony will be held at 3:00 pm on March 12, 2016. The audience will be able to enjoy works covering over ten years in the life of a sculptor, who has now reached a technical and creative maturity through an exceptional pathway and get a special and memorable experience through the creative pathways of VAL.
“My creations are a mirror of what my conscience feels and is not yet receiving. Sculpture is my first step in language, which gives it, a universal character. No need for a particular cultural background to interact with the work. The words may come after, and are not necessary to the understanding of the work.
A perception of time and space with variable dimension guide my work since its inception. I represent the man in relation to space. When I say the man, I mean you, me, it’s a universal man. My work on attitudes allows me to express a range of what constitutes our humanity in our attempt to make sense of our lives, to follow our path, to hope, to love, to observe, to amaze, to meditate, to wait, to dance, to walk …
I represent this man or these men in relation to a space made up of solids and voids, open architectures, windows, paths, a set of lines with their own energy and assembled according to a particular rhythm which makes us realized a possible infinite time and space.”
About Creative Pathway
Established in Bangkok, VAL abolishes relationships between past and present. Life in Thailand teaches her how to go beyond daily boundaries to reach human condition’s universality. Her vision of sculpture is built on the certainty that space-time continuum determines a perennial action intended to embody what is fundamentally human into a sculpture. In VAL’s work, shape limits itself exclusively to that of human figure. They share with them shape’s authority and space’s nobility; the quest of surpassing that enriches soul.
We must stop in front of her first works and understand that what VAL conveys to us is her view on the world, as she has suddenly been drawn to sculpturing. Nothing predisposed her. It was simply a case of a chance discovery on taking up a piece of earth to model. This led to a desire to knead it, to give life to a shape created with her own hand, and then to add that outstanding artistic touch. This was knowing when it was finished, and when the creation was concluded (even if for a long time afterwards there were times she wanted to adjust it, improve it in her eyes; something which often takes away that perfection which comes with the initial creative impulse).
Her work is not the product of an adult’s childhood wish, which was then framed by the art college or by a teacher. It is simply the product of her personal impulse to give life to her own universe, and which caused her to discover this gift with her hands as well as all the magic of the shape that can be poured into that noble metal called bronze. VAL invites us to share what she sees with her. And each one of her creations cries out to us how simple its first interpretation is.
This was the first period of “Discovery”, where VAL became aware of her capacity to see and create.
Watching the World
Then, in around 2009 came a second period where she began to move back into the distance and watch. This is when her characters became more filiform and represented an attitude. Magically, aside from their facial features, each one had a real presence with an attitude that we could interpret, often interacting with one or several others, as well as with the surrounding shapes. This second period was that of “Watching the world”. Therefore, VAL looked beyond the characters and at the world around them, creating smooth shapes, which represented the environment in which they lived.
Then, from 2011 she takes us to her special places of twisted forms, which surround the space of the event she is telling us about. Of course there are still smooth shapes, but during this three year period we are placed in the segments of a universe severed by a twisted and tortured line, enveloping itself around an event. In tandem with this work, she began to make a lot of large pieces, some of which were installed in public places. These four years, which constitute a 3rd period, are so rich and diverse that they bring to mind a “creative orgy”, one that no sculptor could possibly have. And then in the paintings we are reminded of Picasso or Munch.
With 2015, her work has the beginning of a fourth period. This is difficult to name because it is only in its beginnings. We can call it “open maturity”. At this point VAL presents us with three pieces from her three preceding years, which she has recreated on a larger scale. She struggled with the fact that she was leaving an existing collection, with a life of its own, for one that was to be perceived in the same way but in another dimension.
VAL invites us to share what she sees with her. And each one of her creations cries out to us how simple its first interpretation is. From the moment we are invited in by these creative works there begins a phase, which lasts for a few seconds. This is our unconscious deciding if we want to respond to the invitation. Subsequently, we allow ourselves to be taken by the hand and, like Lewis Carol’s Alice, we enter.
VAL, artist Valérie Goutard’s signature, lived her youth and adolescence shuttling between South America, Africa, Europe and France where she was born. VAL experienced the touch of clay for the first time in 2001. Fingers and material guided the artist ever since in the accomplishment of her artistic work. VAL follows her inner journey, immerses herself in the observation of nature and in listening to her intuition.
In 2004, VAL settled in Asia and discovered the traditional know-how of bronze alongside Thai foundries. She set up her workshop in Bangkok, where she currently works surrounded by her own team to assist her in the creation of her sculptures which have taken monumental proportions over the years. In April 2004, for the first time, she exhibited in Bangkok where her works have been in permanent display in galleries since 2005. VAL’s sculptures travel across Asia, meandering through megalopolises such as Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Taiwan. Her noticed participation at the Shanghai Art Fair 2010, together with the unveiling of a monumental sculpture named Urban Life as part of the Jing’An International Sculpture Project, established VAL’s reputation amongst renowned sculptors.
VAL is regularly asked to carry out monumental projects in public and private settings: for example Inle Balance III and Urban Gathering for the Sofitel hotel in Bangkok, Waiting III installed since 2014 in Taipei New Times Square, or more recently Inéquilibre in 2015 currently on display within the highest residential tower in Singapore. In parallel, VAL continues to exhibit her works in numerous galleries and art shows across Asia and Europe. In 2015, she is the laureate of the Trophée des Français de l’Etranger (Trophy of French Expatriates) in the Art de Vivre (Art of living) section, rewarding her work and her singular life course abroad.
About the exhibition
Host: CAFA International Exchange & Cooperation Department
Organizer: CAFA Art Museum, China Central Academy of Fine Arts
Acknowledgment: Philippe Staib Gallery, YISHU8
Location: F1 Exhibition Hall, CAFA Art Museum
Exhibition Time: 2016/03/02 – 2016/04/04
Courtesy of the artist and CAFA ART Museum, edited by Sue/CAFA ART INFO