Biographical highlightsVal, artist Valérie Goutard’s, lived her youth and adolescence shuttling between South America, Africa, Europe and France where she was born.
Val comes upon sculpture for the first time in 2001. Her fingers and the materials have guided the artist ever since in the accomplishment of her artistic work. Val follows her inner journey, immerses herself in the observation of nature and in listening to her intuition.
In 2004, Val settled in Asia and discovered the traditional know-how of bronze alongside Thai foundries. She established her workshop in Bangkok, where she currently works surrounded by her team, who assist her in creating her sculptures. Over the years, these have taken on monumental proportions.
In April 2004, she exhibited for the first time in Bangkok where her works have been on permanent display in galleries since 2005. Val’s sculptures travel across Asia, from Hong Kong to Singapore, Shanghai and to Taiwan. Her noted participation at the Shanghai Art Fair 2010, together with the unveiling of a monumental sculpture named Urban Life as part of the Jing’An International Sculpture Project, established Val’s reputation amongst renowned sculptors.
Val is regularly asked to carry out monumental projects in public and private settings: for example Inle Balance III and Urban Gathering for the Sofitel Hotel in Bangkok, Waiting III installed in Taipei New Times Square in 2014, or more recently, Inéquilibre in 2015, currently on display in the highest residential tower in Singapore. In parallel, Val continues to exhibit her works in numerous galleries and art shows across Asia and Europe.
In 2015, she was awarded Trophée des Français de l’Etranger (Trophy of French Expatriates) in the Art de Vivre (Art of living) section, rewarding her work and her singular life course abroad.
In March – April 2016, the exhibition “Val – Anatomy of a creative path” was transferred from a unique solo exhibition to the museum of the Chinese Academy of Art (CAFA). Two of her sculptures have been acquired by the museum for its permanent collection.
In April this year, Val also installed three sculptures made of concrete, bronze and coral in an underwater site on Koh Tao island in Thailand. This artistic and ecological project, called Ocean Utopia, is a first of its kind, as coral becomes part of the creation.
In September 2015, Val was invited by the glass masters of ARS Murano to work with them in their studio on new glass creations. After several journey in Venice, she married glass bronze and light to create a collection of unique pieces titled Tenth eonian initiative that will be shown for the first time in a solo exhibition in Singapore in November 2016. Val is currently working on a monumental 36 meters long sculptural project, due to be installed in Taichung (Taiwan) by early 2017.
Balance and EnergyThe work of Val sets forth two themes; the formidable ability of man to question himself in pursuance of a better living of his destiny, and the strength and beauty of the vital impulse of the nature. Val reflects on this interaction between man and nature in terms of space, lines and plans by setting shapes which relate to each other in the search for balance.
The processed material breathes the same way nature inhales and exhales its energy. The fingers of the artist listen to the vibration radiating from the material and materialize the energy she feels present in the world. Val plays with the solids and voids to create a harmonious rhythm. Some of her works could be the physical representation of the rhythm of the nature, melody emanating from landscapes.
Bronze silhouettes flutter and stagger whilst moving forward on the edge of an unsteady path. Val’s sculptures evoke the smallness of man in an open and infinite world which exceeds his understanding. Despite his fragility, man does not give way before the stifling infinite; he seeks a possible harmony with the world surrounding him.
Val seeks to represent attitudes more than portraits, representation of humanity in its generality. The artist works with sets of one, two or three characters to express a personal quest, a quest for love, and the universal quest associated with the human condition.
The monumentalVal continues her research of balance and harmony; she challenges herself to go further, pushing back the boundaries of creation and physics.
As the reflection reaches maturity, Val invests herself fully in the creation of the new piece, an iron frame, a wax job done in one stroke with several turns without interruption.
Changing scale represents a challenge. Val seeks a new equilibrium, the right line, the right rhythm, a new melody thriving with a majesty that the impulse of the first jets cannot nourish anymore. The material remains Val’s guide, the mass of the architecture becomes lighter and vibrates through the solids and voids of an increasingly modelled formation.
The search for balance and harmony evolves gradually and logically towards a representation which approaches the realm of dreams. Opening the door to “what lies in the mind that we cannot perceive”. Therefore the artist faces a serious challenge: to represent what we feel intuitively, the impalpable in us that builds us and by definition cannot be represented. Val wants to progress in the development of her freedom and in the reading of her unconsciousness. Her works open up a new dimension in the pursuance of overcoming our conscious reality and slowly reaching an unconscious reality.