Yann Le Gal
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French, born in 1973, lives and works in Kanazawa (Japan).
The work of Yann Le Gal is mainly composed by the production of figurative pictures such as drawings, paintings, photographs, books, sculptures and various artifacts. Le Gal draw from several sources to build a long life diary with subjects and figures coming from nature, art history, mass culture or imagination. Made with time and care, his work expresses an intimate fragility into solemn compositions, as if pictures themselves carry the conscience of their own weakness and upcoming disappearance.
He was eight years old when he lost his father. So his mother, a former lingerie designer, raised him and his sister. She played a formative role in his upbringing that continues to influence his life and art today. After his apprenticeship at the école des beaux arts of Reims (France), He is awarded by the Renoir Foundation prize in 1999. This allowed him to get into several individual and group exhibitions during the 2000’s. His primary influences entail both classic and modern, from Rembrandt to Rodin, Manet, Giacometti and Picasso. His first artistic experiences come to a climax with the opening of a large studio in the Reims suburbs, turned into a pagan temple where he challenged to paint gigantic compositions turn around the allegory of Dionysus.
Also interested by comics since his childhood and the reading of the Adventures of Tintin, Le Gal joined a team of comic books artists, to be one of the founder of the "Atelier 510 TTC" in Reims. The collaboration with his friend scriptwriter J.D. Morvan let him to involve into several comic books series such as "Le dieu singe" and "Au bord de l'eau", adaptations of traditional Chinese novels like "Journey to the west" and "Shui Hu Zhuan", both published by “Delcourt". This collaboration culminates in an exceptional collective comic book, "Vies tranchées" published in France by Delcourt in 2010. The script is based on archives relative French crazy soldiers of the Great War discovered and studied by Hubert Bieser, a former director of a school for psychiatric nurses.
In 2012, Le Gal moved to Japan with his wife Mayphy Miho Higashi, a musician artist. During one year, they travelled into Kyoto's Prefecture to meet living people to record their story. The result of this experience has resulted into the creation of hundred human sized painting portraits of Kyoto's citizens, and the publication of an art book, "Kyoto portraits 100". The completion of this huge project ended by a memorable exhibition at the museum of Kyoto "Bunka Hakubutsukan" in 2014, followed by another presentation at the city hall of Kizugawa for the "Kizugawa contemporary art festival" the same year.
Moving to Japan let Yann Le Gal to deal with his cultural origins, the consequence of which is the creation of the “Miam” project. This project let him to conciliate a cultural antinomy: The Great Art represented by academic works coming from museums, universities and institutions, face to the pop-culture convey by comics and mass-media entertainments. With this project he wonders what does it mean to be a painter in the twenty-first century. This let him to open new ways in the dialectic between the myths of art history and contemporary society, presented in a modern fairy tale that is “Miam”.