As an lively Director of Alliance Française in Singapore, inform us in regards to the ICONIC! Exhibition staged this November at Alliance Française, how was the idea of the exhibition nurtured?
Since we created the French Excellence programme final yr, to share extra about French cultural heritage with all communities and spotlight France’s distinctive know-how by way of exhibitions, talks, screenings, workshops and many others., ICONIC! was at all times in our thoughts. An exhibition to highlight the “Made in France” was positively a should, and we took the time to fine-tune the idea and to contain as many prestigious companions to return on board.
ICONIC!’s ambition is for example how French creativity has modified how we reside, work and play in lots of areas. In this brainwork, the scenography idea was an epiphany. What higher approach to categorical the on a regular basis revolution of those innovations than to incorporate them in a pop-up non-public condo adorned with French designer items from Akar de Nissim and Christian Liaigre, which confirmed how they modified our each day life? The customer is then invited to determine these iconic artefacts displayed on this distinctive set-up.
There are over 50 French creations exhibited, inform us extra in regards to the choice course of?
The primary guideline was to focus on 50 innovations that modified our each day life and perhaps the world, however more often than not you don’t know they’re French. For positive the choice course of was powerful!
“Surprise” was additionally our primary key phrase whereas engaged on the gadgets we might select: we needed our guests to be startled by the artefact they had been . Since our opening final week, we’ve got heard many instances, “Oh! I didn’t know THAT was French!”
You are highlighting to all guests the French creations within the subject of expertise, for example the wonderful sound system gadgets that are on show. Is France an excessive amount of considered a rustic solely associated to style, fragrance and luxurious and never sufficient as a tech creation hub?
Of course, Hermès and the Kelly bag, Guerlain and the trendy fragrance or lipstick, Yves Saint Laurent and the ladies’s trouser swimsuit, Cadolle and the trendy bra are a part of this exhibition. But there may be a lot extra to France than these necessities. Besides these luxurious manufacturers, we gave room to tech creations.
You talked about the high-end loudspeakers with built-in amplifiers, created by Cabasse, and this exhibition additionally provides you to find that the good card, the photovoltaic panels or the gyroscope are French innovations too.
ICONIC! is a approach to hammer residence that France can also be a land for innovation. After all, in 2022, the Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a French researcher, as was Fields Medal, and Station F, the world’s greatest start-up campus created by Xavier Niel is situated in France!
The iconic “Smiley” being a French creation comes as a shock. Tell us extra about this particular creation and the way it has conquered the world?
The Smiley is likely one of the success tales we’re presenting. In 1971, the journalist Franklin Loufrani designed his personal Smiley as a part of an anti-morosity marketing campaign within the each day newspaper France-Soir. Before doing so, the smart journalist registered the well-known emblem with the National Institute of Industrial Property (INPI). He named the emblem “Smiley” and launched The Smiley Company to domicile his model. In 1996, Loufrani’s son, Nicolas, took over the household enterprise. He designed the image in 3D and prolonged the straightforward Smiley to a whole bunch of expressions. Today, The Smiley Company has round 68 million licensed merchandise that drive US$573 million in annual gross sales throughout band companions.
What feelings do you hope the viewers expertise when visiting ICONIC!?
We thought and designed this exhibition in a really playful method, to welcome audiences of all ages, and we hope our viewers could have as a lot enjoyable visiting it as we had curating it.
Above all, we hope that every customer will carry residence, by way of the historical past of every object, a little bit of the French spirit that underpins our id and cultural heritage.
How is ICONIC! Integrated into the vOilah! France Singapore Festival 2022 programme?
This yr’s vOilah! France Singapore Festival is themed “Inspiration”, which led us to curate ICONIC! It’s an honour for Alliance Française to be one in all vOilah! France Singapore Festival 2022 highlights. We are grateful to learn from the help of the Embassy of France in Singapore, not just for the exhibition, but additionally for the French Film Festival offered by the Embassy the place 32 screenings are offered in our theatre, some within the presence of award-winning actresses like Elsa Zylberstein and Ana Girardot.
You have staged a number of profitable exhibitions at Alliance Française Singapore in 2022. What is deliberate throughout 2023?
2022 was the yr of maturity for the French Excellence programme with 4 excessive factors round Visual artwork with REWARD, structure and historical past with NOTRE-DAME, gastronomy with À TABLE! #2 and at present MADE IN FRANCE, gathering 1000’s of tourists in whole!
In 2023, other than À TABLE! #3 which is an annual rendezvous, we’ll concentrate on new subject reminiscent of transportation and style design. Stay tuned…
You have travelled to many nations throughout the globe, what’s your favorite museum as of at the moment?
I should be sincere, on the threat of sounding chauvinistic, my coronary heart goes to the Centre Pompidou, the most important museum for contemporary artwork in Europe, situated in Paris, the place I can deal with my eyes with my favorite up to date artists.
I’m particularly enthusiastic in regards to the artwork retrospective they usually organise, like Pierre Soulages, Louise Bourgeois or most just lately David Hockney, simply to call a couple of.
Your favorite museum in Singapore?
My desire can be the Asian Civilisation Museum, as I’m enthusiastic about Asian civilisations. I’m significantly impressed by the standard of their cultural programmation, the originality of their didactic scenographies, and the trendy non permanent exhibitions, at all times anchored of their instances.
If you had been to call one mentor who has impressed you in your life and profession, who would that be?
Undoubtedly my father has at all times been a mentor to me, and an individual whom I respect and admire. He taught me that work is a treasure to cherish — a mantra that also guides me at the moment.
Open Tuesday to Friday ( 1:00pm-7:30pm) and Saturday (9am-5:30pm), come uncover extra in regards to the objects that change your life each day at ICONIC! as a part of the French Excellence programme.
For extra artwork reads, click on here.