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Journey of the soul 


Hervé Constant is a London-based French artist. He was born in Casablanca, Morocco into a family which had a wide range of cultural influences. After moving to France he studied acting in Toulon and Paris. His acting brought him to London where he settled and turned his creative energies to painting. He has since produced work in a variety of media: painting, photography, film and print, all inspired by his diverse cultural and social experience. He has exhibited his work and participated in artist residencies in many parts of the world, but this is his first time in Japan.


'My work is inspired by my study of the human condition. So often we find ourselves alone at night, uncertain about the fate that lies ahead for us. Each of us is between two opposing forces, the force of life and the reality of death. Surely the role of the artist is to help us on this journey, to make us think about what steps to take and to remind us of our true nature and place in the world. 


We also have much to learn about the human condition from cultures and art which are not our own. They may be very different visually and aesthetically from our own yet their universal themes show us all to be members of a single human family.


My exhibition includes a wide variety of work. Some are paintings of Tarot cards which may be unfamiliar to a Japanese audience. They originate in European card games from the 15th century. Since then the imagery of Tarot has been used as a means of predicting a person's future or spiritual state. 


I was particularly drawn to the mythological themes and narratives in Tarot's imagery because they embody the wisdom of our ancestors about the human condition and pass that wisdom down to us today. Tarot helps us to understand our relationship with nature and with the natural cycles, some positive, some negative, which run through our lives as we, a single humanity, strive for peaceful prosperity. 


I hope that the Japanese viewer will identify with such themes, whether from the Tarot painting or from my other work in the exhibition. At the same time I am sure that my experience of Japan will also enhance my own personal and artistic journey.'

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