Show Navigation

Inside Guillaume Bottazzi’s Wonderland


Life & Style

Art has the power to transform, to educate, to illuminate, to see our world in a whole new light. Guillaume Bottazzi, a French visual artist, has spent the last 28 years illuminating the world with his monumental site-specific works of art — which now number more than 40 around the world.  One project in Sapporo, Japan on the facades of the Miyanomori International Museum of Art (MIMAS), for example, represents a colorful and abstract work of 900 square meters wrapping the museum’s exterior wall. Shocked by the news of the March 11, 2011 Great East Japan Earthquake, he titled his exhibition and the mural, “Hope.” Another public art mural can be found at the foot of the D2 Tower at La Défense in the Parisian business district — a legendary site of what may rightly be described as the largest body of modern and contemporary art in the open air in France.

Guillaume_BottazziHe is known for taking the austere, static nature of a wall and transforming it into something that is moving and transformative. Other paintings of his hang in the Artiscope gallery, a mayor gallery in Belgium, or are part of different public collections, such as the Queen Shorough Collection and the William Whipple Collection in the United States or as the MIMAS in Japan. Today, his commissions span from Germany, Belgium and France to China — incidentally, not far from his latest exhibition, “Guillaume Bottazzi-Wonderland” at Hong Kong’s Le French May show, which runs from May 21 to June 5, 2016.

Bottazzi recently illuminated us with his thoughts on art, perception and what constitutes the perfect showpiece for the home.

Previews Inside Out hat was the inspiration behind your “Wonderland” exhibit? 

Guillaume Bottazzi  As we face the difficulties of our contemporary world, I would like people to escape from the bad news, but also to experience pleasure and beauty. This exhibition will lead visitors to evolve in an unreal world, a world which will call upon our imagination and our creativity.

Previews Inside Out A central theme of your work, if I may find one, is the brain’s relationship to art, and how our perception informs meaning. Can you talk a little bit about how this plays out at Wonderland?

Guillaume Bottazzi My work leads visitors to elaborate on what they are looking at. To say it in a different way, my aim is to create a cognitive activity and participate in our personal development. On this subject, this exhibition will introduce recent scientific research from Helmut Leder, showing how my art bring pleasure and reduce the viewers’ anxieties. Leder is a neuroscientist of the University of Vienna. He researched for over 10 years how art impacts our brain. In this study, he shows how my works contribute to our well-being.

Previews Inside Out Can you explain the meaning behind the title?  

Guillaume Bottazzi I would like to bring a positive energy to Hong Kong, to make people dream.

Previews Inside Out Can you describe the exhibit a little for our readers? What medium did you use? How is the ‘unreal’ world represented? And, what does it require on the part of the visitor?

Guillaume Bottazzi Visitors will discover a sensual universe made with curves, textures, colors and lights. There will be 23 paintings of 2 meters by 2 meters and 3 meters by 2 meters will be shown (oil on row linen canvas and fine plaster on fabric). It will physically immerse  viewers into the art. I am going to show my artworks in public spaces, with light installation, paintings and enamels on glass.

Four documentaries will be shown, including one unseen by the public, produced by Miyanomori International Museum of Art (MIMAS). This film was shot during execution of painting I carried out on the museum exterior in 2011. We hope the visitor will be open to the experience.

Previews Inside Out What is the significance of bringing the show in Hong Kong, for you?

Guillaume Bottazzi I once worked for investors and real estate companies that want to bring value and beauty to our everyday life. Hong Kong is known for its high expectation in terms of quality.

Previews Inside Out You have signed more than 40 monumental site-specific art works, including the biggest painting in Japan for MIMAS. When you look back on all of your site-specific work over the years, are there certain themes or concepts that are in common?  

Guillaume Bottazzi I think that abstraction doesn’t impose any representation on viewers. Artworks will be seen differently over time, the seasons and our feeling. It stays alive: we need to look at them openly. But also curve brings softness and it will contribute to bring well-being to our life.


Miyanomori International Museum of Art, Sapporo, Japan

Previews Inside Out Why are you inspired to do this kind of monumental work?

Guillaume Bottazzi My monumental works bring attractiveness where they are located. I believe that we should take art to places where we do not expect to see it, because art should surprise and be part of our everyday life. That monumentality makes viewers move around. It is a way to immerse the visitor physically. This will become inscribed in each individual’s register of personal experience.


Miyanomori International Museum of Art at night, Sapporo, Japan

Previews Inside Out I’m curious — do you see an intersection between this kind of public work, and the work of ‘high’ graffiti artists?

Guillaume Bottazzi Graffiti art is an expression, which comes from the street. I do not want to impose my own sentiment. I am more focused on the effects of my artworks on viewers, not on my own expression.

Previews Inside Out Do you ever work on a private commission basis? If so, what was one of the most memorable commissions you’ve had?

Guillaume Bottazzi Oh yes! I just finished an installation for a private collector. For a long time, I wanted to use the light in my paintings. With this installation, I found a way to paint on light; it is a creative and beautiful installation.


Previews Inside Out What constitutes good art for the home? Should it always make you feel “calm”?

Guillaume Bottazzi Good art in everyday life should help us to find good energy. 

Previews Inside Out Which of your pieces would you put in a home, if you wanted to set a certain mood?

Guillaume Bottazzi For my home, I would choose a soft and delicate painting or fine enamel on glass.

Previews Inside Out Which past artists have most influenced your work?

Guillaume Bottazzi I do not feel any affiliation; still, I am sensitive to an aesthetic that comes from Italy and Japan. For example, the stone garden of the Ryōan-ji Zen temple, impressed me, in particular, because all the elements are in dialogue and interact with each other. Also, my works in-situ interacts in a global reflexion.


D2 Tower at La Défense in Paris

You Just Read:

Inside Guillaume Bottazzi’s Wonderland

More Life & Style Stories