Presse: Le Jakarta Globe (anglais)

By J-Philippe

27 February 2009

All the versions of this article:
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Paru dans le Jakarta Globe, le 27 février 2009.

Finding Truth in Life’s Performances

Benito Lapulalan, The Jakarta Globe, Jakarta

Duality VI
Duality VI

A girl in a tra­di­tio­nal Balinese dance outfit stares lon­gin­gly at some­thing in the dis­tance. Around her, a cloud of red and yellow looks as if it has explo­ded all over the canvas. The colors remind me of a nebula, far away on the edge of a galaxy.

The pain­ting is “Dua­lity IX,” crea­ted by French artist Jean-Philippe Haure in 2008, using goua­che, a type of water-based paint, mixed media and gold leaf, all on paper laid upon canvas.
“She is a 12-year-old girl,” the pain­ter said of the dancer who per­for­med at the 2007 Bali Arts Festival. “She is ner­vous wai­ting for her turn to dance.”

The girl’s family and friends had always told her she was a good dancer, but just before her first per­for­mance, she star­ted to feel ner­vous.
“Once the game­lan music star­ted to play, and she made the first move­ment of the dance, she ente­red ano­ther gate; she became some­thing else,” J-PHILIPPE said.

His cur­rent exhi­bi­tion, “Dua­lity,” at d Gallerie, shows J-PHILIPPE’s apti­tude at a range of tech­ni­ques in abs­tract and rea­list pain­ting, and also gives an insight into how he per­cei­ves rea­lity.
Most of the pain­tings are of women dan­cers wai­ting to per­form.
“We are all dan­cers, dan­cing our res­pec­tive dances,” he said, “and there are moments when we have no other choice but to wait to per­form, wait for the music to play. In such a moment, we are in tran­si­tion.”
He paints about a number of tran­si­tions people make in their daily lives, through the meta­phor of the Balinese dan­cers.

Before moving to Ubud, J-PHILIPPE lived with a com­mu­nity of dan­cers for years at Puri Abianbase, Gianyar in Bali, where he wit­nes­sed the cycle of tran­si­tion with his own eyes. There are days when a dancer is a mother in the mor­ning, a cons­truc­tion worker in the after­noon and a prin­cess in a night per­for­mance.

He records the strug­gle of these women dan­cers in his pain­tings. In “Dua­lity XV” (2008) J-PHILIPPE depicts a group of women wor­king as cons­truc­tion wor­kers, some with sho­vels in their hands. One woman is ready to place a bucket of sand on her head, while car­rying her child on her hip.
“I see rea­lity in rural Bali, and I am tou­ched by it,” he said.

Unlike most rea­list pain­ters, J-PHILIPPE’s approach to the human figure is dif­fe­rent. Although his depic­tions of the dan­cers are rea­lis­tic — his figu­res are deri­ved from pho­to­graphs — his sub­jects are mainly just out­li­ned. The pre­sence of the nebula-like clouds are as strong as the figu­res, as if saying that humans are not the center of the uni­verse.
“There is some­thing else beyond our rea­lity,” he said.

Here, the pain­ter expo­ses his sense of spi­ri­tua­lity. “We have to be able to see rea­lity from a dis­tance, beyond the com­plexity of our roles or our choi­ces.”
He starts a pain­ting by put­ting water on paper and adding pig­ments to the water, then directs the water to various points on the paper, crea­ting an abs­tract for­ma­tion of colors and shapes, even­tually crea­ting the nebula-like cloud.

After that, he “consults” the nebula for­ma­tion, allo­wing it to dic­tate where the pain­ting goes. He tries to attach a rea­lity to the abs­tract cloud.
This “consul­ta­tion” tech­ni­que is used by tra­di­tio­nal Balinese master car­vers, such as I Ketut Muja, Ida Bagus Tilem and Ida Bagus Nyana, when they find old pieces of wood or roots in their natu­ral form.

Using this par­ti­cu­larly Eastern crea­tive pro­cess, J-PHILIPPE, like his sub­jects, is also in tran­si­tion on his artis­tic jour­ney: He is somew­here bet­ween the East and West. Perhaps he is wai­ting for a new style of music for him to conti­nue his dance.

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