Catacult magazine, April 2017…
Thank you to Nicolas Caudeville for that interview in the Museum of St-Cyprien, France, the day after the opening of my new exhibition:
Thank you Thierry Grillet for his kind word about my exhibition and my work on L’Indépendant, french newspaper)!
Photo exhibition by Grégory Herpe
from march 18th to may 31th
Collections François Desnoyer
Rue Emile Zola, St-Cyprien (village)
Tel: +33 (0)4 68 21 06 96
Today, I was in the catalan capital to receive an award.
Thanks to Jordi Jové & Ramon Casalé Soler for awarded me the golden medal of the XVIIIth International Fair of Barcelona 2017,
for my photowork on Barcelona…
Another publication in the french Glamour magazine, about Tina Keffer and her NGO in Cambodia…
Nice publication in GALA’s French edition (even if I do not like the reframing of my photos !!!).
A photo of Tina Kieffer with the schoolgirls from Happy Chandara.
Once again, the opportunity to encourage you to help the association Tous à l’école, created by Tina Kieffer, who helps and teaches young girls in Cambodia.
GALA No. 1231 - January 11, 2017
I wish you an happy new year 2017!
At the beginning of 2017, I have the pleasure to participate at the “XVIII International Salon of Barcelona”,
at the Esart Gallery.
The opening will take place on January 21, at 8:00 pm, and I would like to meet you all around the inauguration cocktail
and a classical guitar recital of virtuoso Albert Noriega.
The exhibition runs from January 21 untill February 02, 2017, and will show the work of international artists,
from Japan, Spain, South America and of course photo, of myself!
XVIII Salon Internacional 2017 – The Esart Gallery
C / Diputacio 188 – 08011 BARCELONA
Tel: +34 93 4545532
Great joy to see the first publication of several photos of my work in Cambodia, with Tina Kieffer and his pupils of Happy Chandara, in L'Express Style of the week (the supplement of L'Express N°3410). Happy 10th anniversary to the NGO created by Tina for helping kids! You can support by sponsoring a child on her official website: www.toutes-a-l-ecole.org/
September 10th & 11th 2016, les Ateliers du Graff & the city of Puteaux, France, organized the 6th festival of street art.
A big succes where the diversity of the used techniques offered to the visitors a nice show.
It is dynamics Arnaud Eveille (alias Anje) who was the big boss of this unique event.
Bravo Arnaud and thank you for letting me the photoreportage of the festival.
On the menu, anamorphic murals, vegetal graffiti, kinetic & pixel art, the photograffée, and jip-hop, with Kamel Archach’s exceptional presence (alias B.BOY BOSS K), 4 times choreography world champion & 6 times batle world champion with the famous VAGABONDS CREW…Big reference…
Anje, Flow, Zag & Sia, Emoy, Smoe, Zosh, SNSA, Adked, Lop6, Ydoz, Biate, Collectif photograffée, Djalouz, Caligr, Pesca, Doudou Style, San One, Dino, MO2…
With Amélie & Emmanuel Stern, ownersof Villa Duflot, and art collectors, we have chosen a series of photographs from my book " Catalogne" on both sides of the border , from Barcelona to Perpignan, Ebro Delta or Lerida's design. I 'm glad to see you there! PHOTOGRAPHIC EXHIBITION - GREGORY HERPE - CATALONIA Opening september 16th, at 18h00 Exhibition : september 16th to october 31th 2016 Rond Point Albert Donnezan , 66000 Perpignan, France +33 4 68 56 67 67
A preview of my photo work in the Meeting of Styles France 2016, on Youtube…
Click on the picture below:
With my friend, the Peruvian streetartist Isaac Barreda, in front of another peruvian artist, Walter Berns, at work on his fresco. Artists present: Astro, Belin, Walter Berns, Brus, Cannibal Letters, ClifeBurns, Dashe, Demon, Diksa, Donut, Ekto, Gerz, Heis, Hizep, Isaac Barreda, Jok, Lahe, Manyak, Maye, Miedo, Mr Dheo, Nask, Ogre, Omouck, Olson, Pariz One, Persu, Rekor, Resfe, Rever, Rize, Same, Sawer, Shane, Shue, Shure, Skey, Smile, Ster, Stom 500, STKFR, Taer, Taroe, Treze, Yako, Ynoke, Yours, Zurik, Team, from Spain, Peru, Italia, Bolivia, UK, Germany, Luxemburg, Portugal, Belgium, Algeria, Austria and France...
Last night, at the Photo Exhibition opening of my group with the Unapei66 in St Esteve, we had the joy of receiving Olivier Roirand, TV Director of Tv Sud, who came to interview me on my photo project, for the Tonight News (7:30 p.m. on South TV, on channel 33 of TNT in France !!).
Here is the preview :
Thank you to Olivier Roirand, Marie-Hélène Rajkowski, and TV Sud!
I am very proud to invite you to the opening of the group photo exhibition that I have coached for almost a year within the Unapei66.
Unapei 66 a parenting movement born in 1959, is an association of Parents and Friends, who welcomes and accompanies throughout live People with Mental and/ or Psychic Disability , in its establishments or in the mainstream.
People familiar with intellectual disabilities: Down syndrome, autism, mental, multiple disabilities …
I have proposed to accompany them around a photographic project for a year.
Driven, engaged, and extremely talented for arts, my new friends worked very well !
Thursday, July 7, at 18:30, you can see their work. Starting from paintings seen at the Musée Fabre in Montpellier. Before and behind the objective, they have given their whole heart and we expect many of you at the Library St Esteve, France.
I promise you, you will not see disabled people but_ fully fledged artists …
It’s always a great happiness to be in the Catalan capital.
Barcelona, rich and multiple, elusive, surprising. With my friend, the painter Philippe Wodianyk, we decided to take a little height.
Far from the Ramblas, vulgar and touristic; an idiots trap where we scroll like fools in front of filthy restaurants, street vendors and cheesy living statues …
Far from the Ramblas , the Gothic & Raval neighborhoods , the Diagonal Avenue and its luxury boutiques, there is another Barcelona in the hills, which gives the city a welcome air and respiration.
Montjuic Hill (Latin Mons Jovis, the Mount of the Jews), overlooking the old harbor, is an oasis of greenery and culture.
We are amazed about the botanical garden, the castle, the Catalonia National Art Museum and the Magic Fountains and we enter the mythical Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium which hosted the Summer Olympics in 1992. Built in 1929 for the universal exhibition and it was enlarged in 1989 by the Japanese architect Arata Isozaki.
with my friend, french painter Philippe Wodianyk, at the Olympic Stadium.
Many exploits were made here: Carl Lewis won his eighth Olympic gold medal, while Linford Christie became at 32, the oldest champion over 100m, and then the unforgettable symbol given by the Ethiopian Derartu Tulu, the first female black African Olympic champion and the white South African Elana Meyer, runner on 10.000m … Tulu exceeds Meyer to only one lap to go and then she attends her rival prior to fall into her arms. They perform their lap of honor together wrapped in tangled flags of both countries. Iconic is that a big and strong black woman has been united with a white South African woman while South Africa barely retrieves the Olympics after banishment due to apartheid.
From the height, again, to have a lunch on the roof terrace of the arenas, Mudejar and neo Byzantine style.
The city predominantly anti-corrida Barcelona renovated and transformed its arena in a mall , with a landscaped roof offering a 360 ° panoramic view over the capital. There, several restaurants offer local, Japanese, Mediterranean cuisine … Breathtaking views and a great breath of fresh air …
Philippe (who will expose December 8th at the Maison de la Région in Perpignan and then in Paris, the beginning of 2017 at the Galerie de la Voute, in the XII arrondissement. I recommend you discover his magnificent work on http: //www.wodianyk .com) and I then visit the Tibidabo, from a height of 512m, the peak is the tallest of Barcelona’s Collserola (Tibidabo name comes from the Vulgate, a Latin translation of the Bible. it is found in the context where the devil speaks to Jesus).
A big surprise at the top was to discover a quaint place out of time in this universe: the Basilica of the Sacred Heart (Sagrat Cor) and one of the world’s oldest amusement parks, opened in 1901. Within the center a strong forest area of 10 million trees, the park offers a stunning city and Mediterranean view.
The spectacle is unusual, almost anachronistic. To crown it all, we are surrounded by Nepalese celebrations; doubtless 2 or 300. Indeed, it is Nepal Memorial Day, and many special activities were organized to raise awareness to the Barcelonan for the needs of Nepalese after the earthquake of 2015 …
I would strongly advise you to follow the beaten track and leave the center of Barcelona to discover this magical place!
And then, with a little courage, you will be rewarded by climbing on the big wheel and watching this almost surreal view of a city that is full of beauty …
My interview with the excellent Nicolas CAUDEVILLE which points to the immobility of the city of Perpignan... disinterest ? Contempt? ... http://l.archipel.contre-attaque.over-blog.fr/2016/06/photographie-gregory-herpe-revenu-du-cambodge-pour-recevoir-un-prix-de-moscou-interview-par-nicolas-caudeville.html
Back from Cambodia, where I had the great pleasure of photographing the schools established by journalist Tina Kieffer, I received the pleasant surprise by email that I am awarded at MIFA Moscow (Moscow International Foto Awards), a very beautiful international award.
The Moscow jury awarded me with a price and the Honorable Mention in the category People-Culture, for my photographic work about the Gypsies of Perpignan.
Yesterday I said goodbye to Happy Chandara …
It has been a great adventure but it is not finished yet, I’ll have to work a lot of images and together with Tina Kieffer , we have to organize an auction in behalf of “Toutes à l’ecole”.
Back in Phnom Penh, with its stifling heat, and its storms.
Looking through a publication of Asia Life Magazine, I come across an article about the street artists Peap Tarr & Lisa Mam.
I remember seeing a documentary on Canal +, a view month ago, about this couple the city and the city walls.
Peap Tarr is born in New Zealand, his mother is Cambodian and Lisa Mam is from Phnom Penh. They are husband and wife and are working all over the world together.
They make part of the most famous Asian urban artists in the world.
I try to find a way to contact them … Whenever they want or can, even now two days before I leave Phnom Penh …
And then I see one or two possibilities … I write Peap and I wait …
Great news! Two hours later, I receive a very friendly message and we make an appointment for the following morning. And I am looking forward to meet, photograph and interview them …
I dined and watched Belgium-Ireland on streaming in my room … but fall asleep before the end ….
This morning I am at Villa Langka where we arranged to meet at 11:00. I have prepared my interview and I see them happen exactly on time
I guessed they would be sympathetic, but not until this level!
We begin the interview and I learn a lot. Not only about them but also on street art in Cambodia, Asia, on art in general, now and then, the people, people’s lives and politics since the genocide.
They have much to tell, a lot to offer and so much to share. They invite me for lunch in a typical local restaurant.
Later we leave for a tour through Phnom Penh looking for Street Art. And not just theirs, but also those of the Korean-American graffiti artist David Choe from Los Angeles, Aryz a Spanish urban artist and the American, of Taiwanese origin, illustrator and painter James Jean.
Peap and Lisa pose before the work of their friends. Finally I discover this Asian urban scene I sought unsuccessfully last weekend.
(Peap Tarr posing in front a mural of James Jean)
And I have a lot of fun with my new friends! Funny, these are the kind of individuals we encounter with the immediate feeling of knowing all along.
(Lisa Mam & Peap Tarr in front of a mural of David Choe)
They show me two of their four hand painted murals. The first one in a cozy bar in the city, and the second in a hyper-trendy bar situated in a fashionable new neighborhood, still under construction, wherein all the youth of the capital is gathered.
You feel the influences of Khmer traditions, New Zealand tribal art, design and graphics too. These two are so rich, internally, their works speak to everyone.
(In front of their own work in the Puzzles Gastropub)
I must write this article quickly, at least it will be published by two magazines.
It is 7:00 p.m. when they drop me at the hotel … The day passed quickly with Lisa & Peap. We say goodbye warmly by promising to see each other again soon.
(Peap, Lisa, and me…Selfie!)
Tomorrow I will take the plane towards Ho Chi Minh, Doha and Barcelona. Already I think that I have some good reasons to come back to Cambodia.
This is my last day in Happy Chandara.
Tomorrow morning I will leave to stay the weekend in Phnom Penh waiting for my flight, Monday I will leave towards Ho Chi Min, Doha, Barcelona and finally Perpignan …
One gets always used a little, we created bonds. The last two days, a pupil had made me paper boat and yesterday another pupil drew me a snail.
It’s touching and I hope to come back soon.
I was outside early; around 06:00. Many pupils who live outside the school arrive at about 05:30, brought by their parents who go to work in the fields or in the city and who cannot take care of them.
I watch them play with rubber bands, they play same way as girls in Europe do to.
And then they eat. Noodles, with chopsticks, in small transparent plastic bags; they eat fruit, too.
And then they do their hair together.
At 7:30, the raise of the color. The Cambodian and French flag and all pupils stand up silent and aligned aside and do not move an eyelash.
At noon, after eating some rice and a dragon fruit (I think I lost lose 4 or 5 kg!) I went mountain biking in the countryside. It is amazing to see the things that the Khmers carry on their small bikes, by pulling supplies on tiny but fully loaded trailers: banana bunches, bricks, and this morning a veritable jeans and shirts shop.
Yet another, overloaded with a jumble of all kind, ranging from cookware to plastic ducks reminded me of Castorama, a french brand who said : Chez Casto, there’s all you’ll need!
Earlier this afternoon, I returned to school attending a class of “window on the world.”
In the meantime the oldest are there watching a movie about the life of Somali top model Waris Dirie.
A fascinating and dramatic life, circumcised at the age of 3, she managed to flee the country, but became a slave to the Somali ambassador in London, before being one of the most requested models in the world. Later, she became “goodwill ambassador” of the UN, against female genital mutilation.
After the movie, the Khmer teacher launches a debate on the situation of women, the difference in general, and the future of women in Cambodia. The students are moved and are giving their well-marked opinion.
With this group, mentalities change. It is also one of the achievements of the Association Toutes à l’ecole and Tina Kieffer : forming free women, strong with beautiful values …
The monsoon has arrived … Anyway, the first signs.
The rains continues to fall since early this morning and despite this heavy rain, the day has been photographically disrupted.
I have spend the morning at the high school where students had tests in English, mathematics, and French.
I think that the overall level in English of the major students is excellent.
It is necessary to say that at Happy Chandara, the children start learning English from the first year, somewhere around 5 or 6 years!
I’m wondering why do we not do the same in France …
These children become educated women and will be able to take part in tomorrow’s economic life and reconstruction of a country where men dominate.
This is not inevitable and Tina Kieffer has understood this very well by establishing this school and offering the opportunity to these disadvantaged children.
In the start of the school year (2015-2016) , there were 1160 pupils to follow this quality education. We just have learned with a smile, that more than one hundred of new children will incorporate next schoolyear and will also comeback here.
Rain falls again … its nap time for the smallest. They lie against each other on woven mats.
A bright spot … Time to play a little … and then the day passes so quickly in Happy Chandara that the bell ringing already …
And under torrents of rain, school is finished …
It is July 1906, and during his stay in Paris for a special performance at the Theatre du Pré Catelan in the Bois de Boulogne, Auguste Rodin is overwhelmed by the movements of a yet unknown dance: the Cambodian dance.
Emotionally blown away, he started a series of drawings. But the dancers are expected at Marseille!
Rodin cannot stop them from leaving, but he needs to know their movements completely. He leaves everything on the spot, and accompanies them to Marseille, without even taking time to take neither paper nor equipment.
The range of studies of movements and feminine draping, he then will accomplish, is now considered as one of the very best of his career. Within a week, he executes 150 drawings before the Royal Ballet of Cambodia embarks for Cambodia. He is fascinated by the aesthetic grace of their hands and arms. Later he watercolors these sketches with a near-perfect harmony.
Rodin will attach special importance to this series and exhibits in the most prestigious locations, demonstrating that the brilliant sculptor is also an impressive draftsman.
Today, the dances ‘Apsaras’ experience a increasingly intense popularity.
The Khmer are offering the dances to the spirits so that misfortunes of all kinds will be chased away, and that it brings peace back, or heavy rain. Sometimes they dance to have fun and forget the weariness of a hard life.
This morning at Happy Chandara, students of all ages were taking their Cambodian dance classes.
It’s amazing how rigorously they relax their fingers, and their feet.
Eyes are serious, deep, and one can see in their eyes this tradition is not to joke with.
The emotion is palpable, and I understand Rodin, admiring and speechless before these graceful bodies distending with a rare harmony.
A short ride into the village of Prek Thmey; just in time to see two laughing rascals, totally naked, taking a shower.
They are launching water towards me with a pan, exploding into laughter every time they touch Well …
School is out for today …their target!
Yesterday, no Wi-Fi or very little, and therefore impossible to write on my blog. It’s a little better today, despite a rainstorm, of which Cambodia possesses the secret that made me soaking wet.
Yesterday morning, after photographing some classes, I found myself on a path bordering a stream. There, jasmine pickers filled bags under a blazing sun.
In fact, Cambodia is a country that is organized around the waterways and roads. The villages follow the water, houses are built in rows without ever going too deep in the forest.
I see scenes of life, images that I capture; a woman who is cooking chicken legs, a frankly poor man sells not fresh eggs, young monks are begging, some small boys are playing soccer…
Faces follow each other up from school to the villages and I always notice the same depth, the same strength, the same kindness in the eyes of Cambodians.
This morning Khmer writing classes and English lessons; the little ones give their whole heart to the work.
Mimi asks me to take some pictures of students for their sponsors who sent those gifts. This is to show, how pleased they are with their attentions. They have the chance to have “guardian angels” who watch over them from far away, benevolently. I accept willingly because I know it will please the sponsors (and Mimi who makes the best soup in the world!).
Some received a watch, a necklace, a pretty dresses, others drawing materials, a small top and earrings … Their eyes shine from excitement.
Then Mimi and I go into a chook-chook, with a mother and two students, to visit families on the island that faces Happy Chandara: Anloung Chen Island, in the middle of the Bassac River.
The passage of the ferry is nice and a light breeze refreshes us a little bit; the teenager at the rudder “controls” with his feet, his thighs, rarely with his hands.
On the island we come across some temples and then arrive at the family of Kun Srey Srars, pupil in 6th class at Happy Chandara. The father, abusive and alcoholic, abandoned her mother and six brothers. They live very poor and they certainly do not eat every day…
The mother is brave and never complains about her fate. She protects her children and takes care of them the best she can. They never fail love.
One of the kids bikes; he must have 7 years at the most. His bike has no saddle, he has crafted one with a coconut. Resourceful this little one …
Back at Happy Chandara, I made the acquaintance with Philippe, the gardener of the boarding school who is miraculously grows fruits and vegetables in a permaculture garden.
What is permaculture? The word “permaculture” by itself is a contraction of “(agri) permanent culture.”
Creating a permaculture garden can meet towards our human needs while enhancing our environment (development of biodiversity, creating habitats for wildlife and beneficial insects, enriching the earth …).
The garden is flourishing, reveling in in this favorable climate.
My day unfolded under the sign of water … The water garden, water of the Bassac River and the ferry, the water a thunderstorm which falls now. I left by mountain bike to reach the ferry again, just to see the small school’s students go home on the water, as the bell sounded.
They are surprised and happy to see me make a last goodbye and they do some hand signals while the frail craft longs away into nothing, however, seems to stand still …
(with Tina Kieffer)
Sunday in Phnom Penh …
Early this morning I went to the “White Building” …
A concrete bar of 350 meters long, near the town center, designed by the Khmer architect Vann Molyvann, in the 60s.
In the 70s, deserted because of the seizure of power by the Khmer Rouge, subsequently it had a second blast, reinvested by genocide survivors.
A 4 floor dilapidated, crumbling ruin, amidst garbage and malodor.
Lots of the residence are provincials, who came to town in hope to find a job.
But the reputation of the White Building is equivocal, a real hideout for delinquents, drug addicts and prostitutes.
I also cross monks begging from door to door, imparting the neighborhood with a particular rhythm of their nagging melodies…
Abruptly, I followed the monks, into one of their neighborhoods … A chook-chook driver, curious and unoccupied, proposed me to pose with one of them … Being on the other side of my objective is a rare moment, and particular…
(My friend the monk)
Back to Villa Langka, lunch and a powerful thunderstorm. Oh rage! Oh despair! Oh age, my enemy! Said Don Diegue in Le Cid (….by Corneille … … and no, not the singer, but the playwright of the seventeenth century, thank you!).
Tonight, I set out again to Happy Chandara …