Daphné MANDEL was born in 1975 in Lausanne, Switzerland to a French father and a Dutch mother and grew up in Paris.  She credits her Dutch grandmother, a respected textile artist, Wilhelmina Fruytier (www.wilfruytier.com), with instilling in her a deep appreciation of art and painting.  Daphné studied architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning in Versailles and graduated in 2000. She co-founded the Paris based landscape architecture and urban planning firm Gilot&Mandel Paysage.  She and her partner were named "Best Young Urban Planning and Landscape Architecture Professionals" by the French Ministry of Culture (2006).  As a result, a number of public parks, city centres, cultural sites, and sports venues in France and abroad bear Daphne's touch.  She found inspiration in her move to Hong Kong in 2008 to explore other means of creative and artistic expression.

Hong Kong’s environment is quite one of a kind: it is a mash-up between an urban jungle and lush greenery. This juxtaposition of nature and urbanity is captured by mixed media artist Daphné Mandel. Her works explore old Hong Kong’s architecture while introducing imaginary and whimsical elements as a way to exploit the incredible urban paradoxes of this city in constant metamorphosis. Daphné’s work has morphed over the intervening years and she now seeks to represent, interpret and transform what she discovered. The works continue to evolve in a fantasized urbanscape, often disconnected from any sense of reality but incorporating poetry and illusion.​

Using architectural rendering techniques permits Daphné to give a sense of ultra-realism to her works which contrasts with the more artisanal modes of expression such as painting and crayon. She finds that the perfect aesthetic and good balance exists somewhere between the tremendous possibilities offered by contemporary digital tools and more tactile, artisanal and traditional techniques, both of which are essential to her work. This contrast is also a mirror of Hong Kong’s urban aesthetic: the luxurious and polished juxtaposed with the untidied and derelict.​

Currently, Daphné is doing field research on Hong Kong's abandoned sites. Her explorations include locating and accessing these deserted places including villages, schools, theatres and cinemas, private villas and mansions. Her new series 'Chimerical Villages', 'Hong Kong Time Rift' and 'Cabinet of Memories' delve into the paradox of a city in constant change, with places that are left behind for years, or sometimes decades and that seem to be frozen in time. The Series transcend these secluded sites and exacerbate the improbability of their landscapes.

Daphné has been featured extensively in local and international press including the Wall Street Journal, the South China Morning Post, RTHK Radio4, Hong Kong Economic Times, China Daily, BlouinArt Info, Lifestyle Asia, Ocula, Cobo Social, Ming Pao, Home Journal, Zolima CityMag, Elle Décor and Architectural Digest.

曼樂婷(Daphné Mandel)在1975年出生於瑞士洛桑,成長於巴黎。其父親是法國人,母親是荷蘭人,而她的荷蘭外祖母Wilhelmina Fruytier(www.wilfruytier.com)是一位知名的紡織藝術家。自幼深受外祖母耳濡目染,曼樂婷培養出對藝術和繪畫的深厚鑒賞力。她在凡爾賽專攻建築學、景觀建築學和城市規劃學,並在2000年畢業。她其後夥拍友人在巴黎創立了一所景觀建築與城市規劃公司Gilot&Mandel Paysage,二人更在2006年榮獲法國文化部授予「最佳城市規劃與景觀建築青年專家」的稱譽。此後,眾多位於法國及海外的公園、城市中心、文化場所和運動場地都留下了曼樂婷的足跡。她在2008年移居香港,在此地取得靈感以探索其他創作和藝術表達方式。 

 

香港雖然是一個摩天大廈林立的都市,但大自然卻近在咫尺,市中心每每見縫植綠。身為混合媒體藝術家,曼樂婷在其作品中捕捉了自然與都市的並存,以香港舊建築為主題,結合富想像力與天馬行空的元素,敘述這個城市不斷變化的矛盾。曼樂婷的作品多年來亦不斷蛻變,現在她嘗試表達、演繹和改變她所發現的周遭事物,其作品演變成充滿幻想的城市風景,往往脫離現實,但卻充滿詩意和奇思妙想。

 

建築學出身的曼樂婷,憑藉其專業技術賦予作品更濃厚的超現實感,與繪畫和蠟筆等手工表達方式形成鮮明對比。她認為完美的美學和平衡感存在於現代電子工具與手工傳統藝術之間,前者為她提供更多的可能性,後者則具有更豐富的觸感,兩者都對她的創作舉足輕重。這種對比也體現了香港都市美學的特點:奢華優雅與凌亂廢棄並存。

 

目前,曼樂婷致力研究香港的廢棄地方,尋找其位置並進行實地考察和探索。這些廢棄地方涵蓋鄉村、學校、劇院和電影院、私人別墅和豪宅。她的新作品系列《Chimerical Villages》、《Hong Kong Time Rift》和《Cabinet of Memories》深入探討城市中不斷變化的矛盾。這些地方有的已被荒廢多年,有的甚至數十年,似乎被凍結在某個時空裡。其作品系列超越了這些荒廢地點,加劇景觀的不可能性,充滿想像空間。​

曼樂婷曾獲本地及國際媒體廣泛報導,包括《華爾街日報》、《南華早報》、香港電台第四台、《香港經濟日報》、《中國日報》、《BlouinArt Info》、《Lifestyle Asia》、《Ocula》、《Cobo Social》、《明報》、《美好家居》、《Zolima CityMag》、《Elle Décor》和《建築文摘》等。