In our penultimate French Fancy, Localiiz explores beauty without borders as we chat to a pioneering French woman curating an indulgent array of international art in the heart of Hong Kong.
As the sun shines through Rouge Ephemere’s large windows, the striking display of colourful paintings, glass jewellery, cracked ceramics and brass ornaments glisten like an Aladdin’s cave. Although the presence of sunshine helps illuminate the splendor of all inside, this fresh and friendly Hollywood Road galerie d’art boasts a unique and ever-changing collection that never fails to intrigue curious curios collectors, whatever the weather.
Rouge Ephemere displays roaming exhibitions alongside a mainstay range of unique work, including moveable magnetic poppies that allow art lovers to explore their own creativity by arranging the stylised flowerets themselves…c’est extraordinaire!
Originally from Bourges, a small town in central France, language teacher Françoise Thuriere always harboured a love of all things arty. Teaching French in schools around the world including in New York, Barcelona and Cairo, Françoise gradually developed a taste for international art as she formed friendships with those who created it.
Arriving in Hong Kong on a teaching job in 1996, Françoise admits she found it difficult to settle in during her first year in the city. However, 17 years on, this feisty Frenchwoman says she hardly misses her quaint and quiet hometown, and now thrives on and thirsts for the bustle of the big city.
In January 2013, while continuing with her teaching at Hong Kong’s French International School and a kindergarten, Françoise set up Rouge Ephemere after noticing a gap in the city’s otherwise-saturated art scene. “There were no ceramics and unique pieces of art from around the world, and I also wanted to promote French art,” says Françoise. She set up the gallery with the aim of sharing her passion and influencing Hong Kong’s up-and-coming artists.
Françoise admits that she’s found being a newcomer in the Hong Kong art scene challenging because of the browse-to-buy mentality. “I think the mindset of the culture is that if you go in you will have to buy something,” explains Françoise. Through Rouge Ephemere however, Françoise aims to promote the idea of appreciating art by simply looking, as she claims sharing her passion with others is worth more to her than riches.
Françoise exhibits the work of artists from across the world on a monthly basis, constantly introducing visitors to new and exciting spectacles. July and August at Rouge Ephemere are being marked by mainland artist Zhao Kai Jin’s Blue Period, while October will see exotic works shipped in all the way from Madagascar. Other displays are constant, able to be enjoyed at any time of year.