"Florae" exhibition in Paris
Van Cleef & Arpels gave photographer Mika Ninagawa carte blanche to create an exhibition celebrating flowers, with her work presented alongside the Maison’s floral creations. Within an immersive decor designed by architect Tsuyoshi Tane, over a hundred pieces from Van Cleef & Arpels’ patrimony collection and contemporary jewels commune with the Japanese artist’s brightly colored photographs.
On display from September 10 to November 14, 2021 at Hôtel d’Évreux, Place Vendôme, Paris, “Florae” exhibition takes viewers on a dreamlike stroll through an imaginary garden. The exhibition is free entry upon reservation.
An enchanting garden
Since its founding in 1906, Van Cleef & Arpels has drawn from nature as an infinite source of inspiration. Flora imparts vitality and poetry into its creations, with precious materials mirroring the endless metamorphoses of the natural world. Mika Ninagawa, a Japanese photographer known for her work on color, shares the Maison’s fascination for flowers, ever striving to capture their beauty and singularity. Dahlias, roses and cherry blossoms come to life in her photographs, their every nuance fervently manifest.
Maze and kaleidoscope
To choreograph this artistic dialogue between jewelry and photography, Mika Ninagawa and Van Cleef & Arpels called on architect Tsuyoshi Tane, founder of the ATTA studio in Paris. For “Florae,” he imagined an immersive set design grounded in plays on light and mirrors.
Two main concepts intertwine at the heart of this decor: the kaleidoscope, with its infinite chromatic effects, and the maze, inviting visitors to “get lost” in this dreamlike space. The itinerary comes together thanks to reflective glass walls that, when illuminated, display Mika Ninagawa’s photographs.
The Maison’s creations shine within subtle showcases specially designed to blend into their surroundings, seeming to float in this magnificent garden.
Mika Ninagawa is a photographer and director. Born in Tokyo, Japan, she first came to prominence in the 1990s for her participation in the “Girly Photo” movement, which aimed to chronicle the daily life and attitudes of young Japanese women. Through her brightly colored photographs and her subjects of choice, including flowers and goldfish, Mika Ninagawa seeks to capture the ephemeral beauty of everyday life, encapsulated in fleeting instants.
Mika Ninagawa was introduced to Van Cleef & Arpels in Japan in 2017, and a creative alliance soon ensued. The following year, the Maison offered her the chance to organize an exhibition in Paris centered on flowers, an idea that was to become “Florae.”
Captivated by the fleeting beauty of flora, the Maison has celebrated the natural world since its founding. Over the years, it has giving life to a profusion of jewelry interpretations that are highlighted today alongside photographs by Mika Ninagawa. Spanning nearly a century, from the 1920s to the 2000s, more than a hundred pieces from the Van Cleef & Arpels Collection combined with contemporary creations offer a panorama of flowers as seen by the Maison, reflecting three themes: naturalist aesthetics, bouquets and stylized aesthetics.
Flowers at L'ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts
To keep up with the universe of flowers, L'ÉCOLE School of Jewelry Arts, with support from Van Cleef & Arpels, is offfering a rich cultural program composed of conferences for adults and workshops for children.