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Paris Welcomes Loretta H. Yang with Wide Eyes and Gaping Jaws

By Wednesday morning, the Grand Palais was chock full of artists/designers, critics and collectors for Atelier d’art de France’s semiannual craft art show, “Salon Révélations.” With exhibit schedules packed cheek by jowl in a five-day stretch, it is a testament to Loretta H. Yang’s international stature that hers was among the first to open. Attending the event was Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Parsons Design Academy board members, Hermès designers and a number of art publication editor-in-chiefs. That day marked one of the rare historical moments when contemporary Asian art touched the hearts of Europe’s most elite cultural literati. 

Art—irrespective of culture—is a universal language… “I guess, people will be people, and feelings are felt just the same.”

Thanks to a fateful encounter in Shanghai last year with Serge Nicole, this cultural exchange was made possible.

Grand Palais Exhibition for Artist Loretta H. Yang

In 2014 Director of Ateliers d’art de France Serge Nicole made a personal trip to Shanghai, where he chanced upon and became enthralled by Yang’s artworks. After personally inviting her to participate in this year’s salon, Nicole selected his favorite pieces to be exhibited.

“[Formless…] it is like a way of living for us”

Yang may have been puzzled at Nicole’s selection initially. She reflected, “I never would have thought that… these [artworks’ messages] of what I thought were typically East Asian life philosophies of impermanence and struggle 

would ever have such a large impact and resonance in the vastly different cultural of France.” It seems from this learning experience that art—irrespective of culture—remains a universal language. Yang subsequently concluded that “I guess people will be people, and feelings are felt just the same.”

 Grand Palais Exhibition for Artist Loretta H. Yang

Indeed, it was Serge Nicole himself who—commenting on the “Formless” series—observed that “it is like a way of living for us.” That cross-cultural understanding of these sentiments—of transience and such—is the piece of the art that is carried into all hearts. Without prejudice.

Yet, France remains a nation that prides itself on a long history of cultivating its arts and culture. With recent years of economic turbulence in the art market, it is both an honor as well as an accomplishment that distinctly Chinese art can have such a resounding impact on French highbrow society. From this, there’s a cultural pride on both sides that is unique, an artistic struggle that is shared and an exchange which has been made historic.

In reflecting on the exhibit, Loretta H. Yang remarks that this is the same palace and art-world monument where French crystal pioneer and virtuoso Émile Gallé gained his reputation. In a classically Yang-like moment of humility and hope, she says that “today’s exhibit truly lets me consider what it is exactly that I wish to express in my artwork.” That is her continuous creation of “art for the good of the heart,” and her commitment to our world cultures.

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Loretta H. Yang's
Formless But Not Without Form



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