As a child, China haunted me. It was a mysterious country, a part of the world that I had discovered through watching the adventures of Tintin and how fascinated my mother was with Chinese culture. It was the first trip my parents made in the 1980s. I would spend hours looking at the photos they had taken, the flyers that had brought back and the colourful tickets that gave access to the museums and temples they visited.
Throughout my childhood, I dreamt to escape to China, up until I went there for the first time 1999. I would return many times thereafter, for personal and artistic projects because China and especially Shanghai became more than just an exotic destination, it became one of my main sources of inspiration.
The works presented at M Art Center are the result of days spent surveying and painting in the streets of one of the last working-class neighborhoods in central Shanghai. It is a testimony of my love for this traditional culture that has gradually submerged under the glass, concrete towers and the new temples of consumerism. My way of repopulating these old alleyways of laughter and imagination that the children of Shanghai used as playgrounds.
This exhibition represents my dream of China, intimately linked to childhood and a universal need to escape in a world that is increasingly incomprehensible.