Artist Nicolas Lefeuvre’s “I Think I See It” Exhibition Chronicles 12 Years of Work


“We find beauty not in the thing itself but in the shadow patterns, in the light and darkness that one thing against another creates.” This is a quote from Japanese writer Junichiro Tanizaki that artist Nicolas Lefeuvre’s latest exhibition “I Think I See It” is inspired from. 

The exhibition, happening between 5 to 28 November, takes the visitors through Lefeuvre’s ink works from the last 12 years. Spanning over three themes: Land(e)scape, The State I Am In and Self-Archeology, it chronicles the artist’s journey in creating his body of works. Many of his artworks reflect his vast experience living in countries and cities around Asia like Hong Kong, Japan, Nepal and Singapore. Prior to his career switch as a full-fledged artist, Lefeuvre was involved in providing design and art direction for some of the world’s leading brands. Most notably, he was the creative director at Chanel Asia Pacific.

Landscape P153, 2022, Ink and Gold Powder on Paper
Landscape P152, 2022, Ink and Gold Powder on Paper
Landscape P156, 2022, Ink and Gold Powder on Paper

Lefeuvre’s style of painting involves ink, traditional calligraphy, gold powder, fabrics and a variety of tools. The resulting works are minimalistic yet complex and the graphic expression is a cross between Asian and European sensibilities. Explaining more about his style, the artist says he makes ink using indigo cobalt pigments and then creates different tones by diluting the mixture. Using different hues, the interplay between shadows and lights is telegraphed albeit abstractly.

“As with Pierre Soulages, where the light strikes the pictorial surface, or in the work of Rothko, where it emanates from the back of the canvas, the light in my paintings generates a contrast between colours and composition, [which overall] creates a magical effect,” says Lefeuvre.

The next step in his artwork is the use of gold powders. In many cultures, gold calls to mind the breaking of dawn, where light peeks through the depth of darkness and illuminates our cities — be it real or imagined. There are layered meanings to the use of ink, and Lefeuvre alludes it to the various places that he had lived before. “In a metaphor of balance, of the fragility of time, I try to mentally travel and bring back landscapes, moments hidden under the surface, making me dream of other worlds, other horizons, other lights.”

Lastly, Lefeuvre’s constant search for simplicity acts as fuel for him to create artworks. “I wonder about the natural tendency that one can have to accumulate objects or, on the contrary, to create more space around oneself, which I try to accomplish in my paintings.” From the thousands of images that fill his mind, the quest for aesthetic simplicity anchors Lefeuvre to produce stunning paintings that are highly nuanced. The goal: to find a certain inner peace. He invites us into a world of mystery, where visitors get to discover and learn more about the artist’s imagination through his impressionist creations. 

The “I Think I See It” exhibition is organised by Clementine de Forton Gallery and Marina Design Works, as part of Voilah! Festival in partnership with the French Embassy.

On 7 November, a talk event will be conducted and French-American writer Marie-Diane Meissirel will share her inspiration about Nicolas Lefeuvre’s art.

Nicolas Lefeuvre “I Think I See It” Exhibition
5-22 November 2022
63 Spottiswoode Park Rd, Singapore 088651

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