Image: Jean-Michel Othoniel, Precious Stonewall, 2021; Blue and amber Indian mirrored glass, wood; 33 x 32 x 22 cm; Photo: Claire Dorn; Courtesy of the artist and Perrotin © Jean-Michel Othoniel / Adagp, Paris, 2022.
Oscillating between fragility and strength, rationality and sensuality, Jean-Michel Othoniel’s artworks embrace and transcend opposites in order to expand our conception of reality, reconciling contradictions. Since 1993, the French artist has been working in collaboration with some of the finest glassblowers in the world on the formal and chemical properties of glass, exploring its manifold possible metamorphoses and substantial variability. A product derived from the transfiguration of matter and melted sand, glass, in essence, is rooted within nature and reflects the exuberance of its potentials and beauty. Similarly, and like an alchemist, Othoniel sublimates natural elements, recomposing and transforming them according to his emotions and to the cultural context he is working in.
At Perrotin Hong Kong, Othoniel proposes two contrasting yet connected universes with his signature bodies of work: the rigorous and systematic configurations of Precious Stonewall sculptures made in collaboration with Indian glassmakers; and the ethereal and translucent glass bead compositions, blown in the Italian island of Murano, where the finest glass has been produced since the thirteenth century. In between, the floating and enigmatic Wild Knot (Noeud Sauvage, 2021) casts an overall cosmic radiance on the exhibition, embracing all its featured elements in its inclusive circular movement.
Relentlessly exploring the miracles of nature and the enlivening of matter, Jean-Michel Othoniel’s second solo exhibition is an invitation to refresh our gaze and reach out to the wonders of reality.
— Caroline Ha Thuc