Elsa Jean de Dieu is an artist who is making a real impact on the wall design scene here in Hong Kong
To Hong Kong-based painter and visual artist Elsa Jean de Dieu and her eponymous design atelier, a wall is a place on which to compose stories. Specialising in creating textures and special paint effects, the French artist — who has been living in the territory since 2008 — has made her name with works for a range of high profile clients. These include the luxurious interiors specially created for iconic figures such as Delphine Arnault from LVMH, Princess Caroline of Monaco, and various members of the royal families of Iran and Morocco.
"A bare wall tells no particular story, but once it has been painted with colours or hung with artworks, the space develops a strong personality, a nice atmosphere and a special energy," says Jean de Dieu, who describes herself as a 'wall designer'.
Drawing on her artistic diversity, Jean de Dieu has decorated a seemingly vast number of places of great symbolism and importance, such as at the French embassies in Brussels and Oslo, as well as the Korean embassy in Paris. She has created designs for well-known brands such as Alfred Dunhill, Starbucks and the Hyatt but, regardless of whether her clients are billion-dollar multinationals, political institutions or royalty, Jean de Dieu's work remains consistent in its quality: dreamy, artistic or bold, the designs she concocts are tailored to her clients' needs.
Understanding their thinking and translating these thoughts into murals, she describes herself as both a psychologist and a chameleon. "I don't have a personal style," she muses. "Each project is very different from one to another, so I renew my style and create unique finishes for each client."
It's natural her creations should exude a French aesthetic, given her origins and art experience in Paris, where she spent seven years at the prestigious Atelier Lucien Tourtoulou specialising in the creation of unique materials and the decoration of interiors for high-end customers. For her own inspiration, Jean de Dieu reveals that she finds it in haute couture, as well as in design itself, nature and its elements: natural oxidations, vegetables and animal skins. "Inspiration is everywhere to be found when you keep your eyes and mind open," she adds.
This is an excerpt from the "Wall-to-wall Stories” article from the July/August 2016 issue of Perspective magazine.
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