Botanical Artist Botanical Artist
Photo: Maxime Lenik

How Botanical Artist Duy Anh Nhan Duc Captures The Whimsy of a Dandelion

Duy Anh Nhan Duc, a Vietnamese artist who has chosen to make his home in France, presents Nature by means of plant works whose poetry and delicacy are particularly moving in the digital era.

For Duy Anh Nhan Duc, the plant world is a true religion. “My work is my way of expressing and sharing my empathy with Nature and my respect for it,” he confides. This summer, a flowerbed comprised of 12,000 flowering dandelions was astoundingly arranged in the Châteaugiron Art Centre— a 12th century chapel and venue at Brittany’s Hope Exhibition.

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“It was an invitation to communicate with Nature in a place conducive to communion with Nature,” the artist points out. “It was precisely this communication, this liaison that I wished to share through my work. I wanted Nature to re-assume its sacred character.”

The benevolence, protection, and nourishment man is provided by Nature has been a perennial inspiration for Duy Anh Nhan Duc, who seemingly has innumerable ways of expressing himself. Seeds, flowers, branches, bark, leaves, and needles harmonize with such sensitivity, such subtlety, that the image as a whole hits the beholder with astounding force, impressing the beauty and transience of the moments he captures.

Sometimes, the plant element enters his work in the form of hybrid creatures. His collaboration with photographer Isabelle Chapuis, for example, gave birth to two memorable poetic series, Dandelion et Etamine (Dandelion and Stamen). As seen on the resultant photos, “plant creations are laid on faces and bodies like delicate veils. There is fleeting osmosis between humanity and nature that reveals the fragility of their bond,” he explains.

Photo: Enzo Orlando

If the geometrical and organic works are evocative, it’s because they reminisce of an an aspect of childhood that links us to Nature. “A simple clover will recall our interminable treasure hunts for four-leaved clovers, or the fine winged maple seeds that we threw in the air so that they revolved like miniature helicopter rotors. And obviously dandelions [are] so important to me in my work,” Nhan Duc reflects.

“A simple childhood pleasure is brought back to us by the dandelion– the pleasure of making hundreds of ultra-light seeds fly off into the air by blowing on it.”

“It matters little who you are and from where you come from, it has a strong power of reminiscence for each one of us. A simple childhood pleasure is brought back to us by the dandelion– the pleasure of making hundreds of ultra-light seeds fly off into the air by blowing on it.”

Nhan Duc’s latest cooperative project with Christie’s (within the framework of a sale dedicated to Asian Art and Design) gave the artist an opportunity to highlight his favorite flower with the creation of the Dandelion Light candlestick.

Duy Anh Nhan Duc will once more pay tribute to the flower at the forthcoming Domaine de Chaumont- sur-Loire Exhibition, “an unmissable venue for plant art”, which is set to celebrate its 10th contemporary art festival in 2018. As with many of the exhibits that will be on display, his installation will present an opportunity to admire the treasures of Nature in an abstract but intuitive way, via “emotion-release mechanisms that reveal our inner child.”

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