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, 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' delves into the paradox of a city in constant change, with places that are left behind for years sometime decades and that seem to be frozen in time. The Series transcends these secluded sites and exacerbates 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.

Daphné Mandel於1975年出生於瑞士洛桑,父親是法國人,母親是荷蘭人,而她在巴黎長大。她的荷蘭外祖母是一位紡織藝術家,從外祖母那裡獲得了對藝術和繪畫的深厚鑒賞力。Daphné在凡爾賽學習建築學、景觀建築學和城市規劃學,並於2000年畢業。她聯合他人,在巴黎創立了景觀建築與城市規劃公司Gilot&Mandel Paysage。法國文化部授予她和她的合作夥伴“最佳青年城市規劃與景觀建築專家”稱號(2006年)。此後,許多法國國內外的公共公園、城市中心、文化場所和運動場都留下了Daphné的痕跡。她於2008年搬入香港,獲得靈感以探索其它的創造和藝術表達形式。 

 

香港雖然是一個摩天大廈林立的都市,但同時也是一座離大自然很近的城市,而且市中心每每見縫植綠。Daphné Mandel的作品正捕捉了自然與都市的並存,主要以香港老建築為主題,結合其虛構與想象,敘述這個城市不斷蛻變的悖論。她的作品與自身對城市的看法密不可分。初來香港的幾年,Daphné試圖理解周圍的一切,早期作品呈現了香港老建築外牆和“窺視”其窗戶裏的故事。現在她專注於從新演繹她所發現的,作品演變成幻想城市風景,常脫離現實,充滿詩意和奇思妙想。​

建築學出身的Daphné,用其專業技術賦予作品更多的超現實感,與繪畫和蠟筆等手工表達方式形成對比。她認為完美的美學和平衡存在於現代電子工具和手工傳統藝術之間,前者為她提供了更多的可能性,後者有更豐富的觸感,兩者都對她的創作極為重要。這種對比也體現了香港都市美學的特點:奢華優雅和髒亂廢棄的並存。​

當地與國際媒體曾經對她進行過廣泛的報導,包括『華爾街日報』、『南華早報』、『香港電臺 Radio4』、『香港经济日报』、『美好家居』、『中国日报』、『BlouinArt Info』、『Lifestyle Asia』、『Ocula』、『Cobo Social』、『明报』、『Zolima CityMag』、『Elle Décor 』和『 建築文摘』等。