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Claire Xuan rediscovers The Five Elements (March 22, 2005)

Claire Xuan.
VietNamNet –Vietnam France Culture Centre (L'Espace) will introduce Claire Xuan’s ‘The Five Elements’ as a part of Francophone Days in Hanoi.

Artist/photographer Claire Xuan has a passion for distant destinations, which she immortalises in a collection of journals and photographs.

With inspiration and skill Ms Claire has produced a rare interpretation of the five universal elements: wood, fire, earth, metal, and water and their significance in a world of nature and philosophy.

Oriental philosophy considers that each element corresponds to an animal, a plant and a colour. In the Five Elements, the earth is represented by the buffalo and fire by incense, as she explained, cautioning the five universal elements should not to be compared with the chemical elements of the scientific or material world, which people are more familiar with.

Born in 1966, Ms Claire began her artistic career as a stylist and decorator in a publicity agency in Paris. But very soon her passion for photography led her to abandon the City of Light in 1991 and, camera in hand, embark on her first expedition to discover the secrets of the new world.

Settling in California, Ms Claire produced the draft for her first edition together with her graphic designer colleagues. In 1995 she returned to France to dedicate herself to photography and her concept of creating unique collectors items consisting of a publication of artistic photography and reproductions of original etchings, bound in a creative presentation.

A year later Ms Claire decided to return to the source of her origins and inspiration in the land of her ancestors, Vietnam. It was here that the first of her major works was accomplished and in 1998 “Vietnam and the Five Elements” was published.

The communion of the five fundamental elements in Asia, together with the four occidental elements, are without doubt the source of Ms Claire’s inspiration for this creative work. She has exhibited in Paris, Morocco, Madagascar, Iceland and Thailand in March 2005.

Showing at L'Espace in 24 Trang Tien Street, Hanoi till May 2.

Reprinted from VietNamNet


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