Hélène Le Chatelier, a French artist, has been living in Singapore for the last 10 years.
Beyond the academic pursuit of representing the human body in its ideal state, she is interested in portraying the transformation of the body and the elusive nature of our lives. She imagines a cartography of remembrance, crystallised in nudes whose contours, like our memories, are sometimes accurate, sometimes hazy. The ink on paper technique allows her to transcend the antagonism between traditional Chinese painting and European painting. Much like in traditional Chinese painting, the brush leaves a void that expresses the quest for reconciliation between the infinite nature of sentiments and the physical limits of the body.
When working with ink, perfection must come with the first stroke. Once a brush stroke has been traced, it’s impossible to go back, it can neither be erased nor changed. Ink painting illustrates the course of life: what has been said, done or lived cannot be taken back. Hélène's work can be seen as a snapshot of our souls, using nudity to evoke our inner fragility. It summarises the journey of our souls. As life goes on, wrinkles and scars appear on human bodies as on human heart, reflecting accumulation of memories and the passage of time. Each work captures a unique story and reflects the pursuit of harmony. Hélène’s nudes talk of tenderness and pleasure but they also remind us that there is no life without suffering.
Naked Memories, her first exhibition in Singapore, took place at Alliance Francaise de Singapour in October 2014.
Beyond The Surface ran at Intersections gallery from May 10th to June 24th 2017.