Jacques-Leon Charrier

Jacques-Léon grew up in the Vendee. As an adult he had a diverse and atypical career (cook, Spanish, French and foreign language teacher, flamenco teacher). At 35, he travelled to Thailand, marking the beginning of his career as a visual artist.
He continued making many trips to the Far East and lived in Asia for fifteen years. During these excursions he discovered and studied Eastern philosophies. Buddhism, and more generally the spiritual quest of man, became his main source of inspiration.
For 8 years, Jacques-Léon worked with Thai artist Montri Toemsombat in Bangkok. This close collaboration broadened his vision and perception of art and gave him exposure to the international contemporary art scene. Together they created works in places as prestigious as the Venice Biennale (Italy), Kiasma Museum in Helsinki (Finland) and the Museum of Asian Art in Fukuoka (Japan). His work is always in resonance with his Buddhist knowledge.
The modes of Jacques-Léon’s artistic expression are diverse: photography, performance, video, sculpture, stage ... but painting with watercolour was quickly adopted by this self-taught artist. Besides its ease of use and transport, watercolour’s characteristics and experimental fields are in line with his unique approach and themes.
He develops special techniques to achieve particular effects of chiaroscuro. He uses flat tints of watercolour and then removes the saturated colour with a wet brush to come back to the white paper. He also uses a unique process of sedimentation (appearance of deposits during drying).
Combining the random and organized, the ephemeral gesture and the final stroke, watercolour is, for Jacques-Léon, an exercise in meditation.