Tag Archives: South Korea

Romanian Scenes at Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton

As someone who professionally observes economic and political developments in different fast-developing emerging markets, I find it particularly interesting what Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton is doing. Since 2006 they have organized three contemporary art exhibitions per year, gathering artists from all over the world (but mainly from emerging markets) to show their work around different themes such as travel, heritage, art and fashion. These themes are then presented in the light of globalization, localisation, conflicting identities and nostalgia that compete to win the future in so many countries today, and as one could image, the result of intriguing!

I have followed Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton exhibitions since the beginning and some of my personal highlights are the very first exhibition called Métamorphoses (presenting the South Korean artist Sookyung Yee, who was also portrayed at FIAC 2013) and Somewhere Else (another great presentation of today’s globalized world and identity struggles seen through the eyes of artists).

Sergiu Toma The Astronomer

Last Sunday I went to see the latest production of Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton: Romanian Scenes. The exhibition combines works from artists that come from two different eras and two different artistically-important locations. Era-wise, there are those from the Communist/Soviet/Cold War period and those who emerged after the collapse of the great Soviet power. Geographically, Bucharest is presented as the more traditional home and the artistic capital of the country, whereas Cluj-Napoca in Transylvania is portrayed as “today’s creative epicenter”.

The exhibition provides an intriguing opportunity to time travel in the past and the future of Romania as well as to learn more about this grand European nation. Indeed, a highly recommended exhibition, but hurry up: Romanian Scenes ends January 12!

Lastly, the million-dollar view of Paris and Parisian architecture you get from Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton is another good reason to head toward avenue des Champs Elysées… Just don’t be afraid of the dark (you will see why)!

Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton (http://www.louisvuitton-espaceculturel.com)

Main entrance: 60, rue de Bassano, 75008 Paris
Entrance by the Louis Vuitton shop: 101, avenue des Champs Elysées, 75008 Paris
Opening hours: Mon to Sat 12am to 7pm; Sun 11am to 7pm (no entrance fee and open on French holidays)

PS The copyright of the image goes to  Espace Culturel Louis Vuitton, whose press service I thank for kind cooperation with Pearlspotting. 

FIAC 2013

Since my first visit to FIAC in October 1999, I have tried to go back whenever I am in Paris. To me, FIAC is an important window to the contemporary art scene that is not limited to France and the francophone world. It gives me a concrete way to witness how our globalized world is changing, and even if old European cities are still strongly represented, galleries and artists from India, South Korea and Israel are definitely gaining a solid position in the international art world.  FIAC 2013

For example, Yeesookyung is a South Korean artist living in Seoul. We saw her work at Espace Louis Vuitton in Paris in 2008 and recognized her work immediately at FIAC (she reconstructs trashed ceramic vases).Yeesookyung

Jitish Kallat is a Mumbai-based artist whose work reflects the diversified yet complex character of his home city. I am curious to know the story behind this sculpture of four men, so if you know something, please let me know! Otherwise I will pay a visit to Daniel Templon gallery.. (or ask my Mumbai friends!).Jitish Kallat

It would be difficult to make an exhaustive summary of everything I saw at FIAC, but some other interesting art pieces are pictured below:

Suenos by Jason Martin (2012): Jason Martin

Lisa by John DeAndrea (2005): Lisa by John DeAndrea

Indeed, this year we saw many real-life size sculptures of human beings, which made me leave FIAC wondering how the global crisis are influencing the artists’ works….?

PS In addition to the high-quality art, I love FIAC because of its stunning venue: le Grand Palais built in the Belle Epoque era. To see an exhibition at le Grand Palais should be on everyone’s “once in a life time” list so try to make a stop there during your next visit to Paris!

Links to the artists:



http://www.artnet.com/artists/jason-martin-2/ (Note to my Finnish friends: Jason Martin exhibited at Galerie Forsblom in Helsinki 2012)



Spring has arrived in Paris (at least in the Conran Shop)

It hasn’t yet felt very springlike in Paris but it seems France is not an exception. In Helsinki, the capital my home country, it snowed a few days ago, and no, snow doesn’t cover streets all year around over there! I bet many Europeans are at the moment eagerly waiting to see some more green color, flowers blossoming, birds singing… not forgetting the sun! If you have no time or money to buy a ticket to the Caribbean, I suggest you get a feeling of the approaching summer in the Conran Shop in the 7th arrondissement (http://www.conranshop.fr). They organized une soirée privée last Thursday that we could not attend (busy eating tajine instead…) so we took the opportunity to visit the shop last Sunday.

Some of my personal highlights are presented below.

I come from Finland so I adore this table, and even if I didn’t originate from Finland, I still would! Surely many of you recognize it, but if not, check it out on internet (google Tulip Table Saarinen). Eero Saarinen, the architect born in Finland, designed this table in the mid-fifties for Knoll and today, almost 60 years later, it is as modern as ever.Tulip Table Saarinen (from Finland!)FYI: Those stylish bull heads on the wall are called Trophée Taureau and sell for 135€/head.

My next stop in the Conran Shop was related to animals too: I found canned fish in super-cute packaging:

Jose Gourmet mackerel Jose Gourmet tunaJosé Gourmet (http://www.josegourmet.com) is a Portuguese brand that produces jam, wine, olive oil, vinegar, canned goods, etc. with elegant and fun design. Their canned fish selection resembles more a Japanese restaurant than a traditional tin: Sardines roe in olive oil, Chub mackerel fillets in olive oil, Trout fillets in Escabeche, Ventrusca tuna fish, etc. (but where is the famous Portuguese morue?). I absolutely love the graphic design and I wish I could draw like that! Each fish seems to have his distinct personality.

As soon as I got home I started googling their website. The words mentioned are fair trade, handmade, added value, and the raison d’être of the company seems to be how to capitalize on the Portuguese traditional products, while dressing them according to our century. Sounds inspiring, and makes me want to travel to Portugal to have the entire José Gourmet selection in front of me!

Third object that I found interesting comes from Alife Design (http://www.alifedesign.com), headquartered in Seoul, South Korea. Their concept was born out of hidden needs in everyday life and implementing something sophisticated to satisfy the needs. Today their industrial design items are found in nearly 30 countries, mainly in Europe. Alife DesignThese travel organizers (picture on the right) come in almost all the rainbow colors and help you keep your travel documents in order. In fact there is a full range of products that promise to make traveling easier: luggage belts, luggage tags, luggage identifiers; you name it. The company website shows that travel accessories are not Alife Design’s only product line, but this is what the Conran Shop had chosen to their collection.

PS The Conran Shop offers 15% discount on selected items until (including) April 15.