For a Landscape Architect and an Urban Planner, the initial approach to a proposal process is to consider the existing environment; "The hosting context must drive the project".
In Hong Kong, by contrast, architectural projects are conceived purely as individual objects with complete disregard for the existing site. There is rarely a master plan and therefore no overall harmony nor consistency. This results in brutal and dramatic urban scenes but nonetheless all of these individual objects eventually coexist.
This highly disturbing observation as an urban planner became a source of inspiration as an artist.
Daphné Mandel's series Hong Kong Facades is inspired by the city's wild and restless urbanisation. Hong Kong's brutal urbanscape is for her a constant source of inspiration.
The density, the giant facades and the accumulation of elements on different scales, levels and layers create a fascinating visual and graphic scene. Daphné explores the rough beauty of these urban contrasts while introducing a good dose of poetry, absurdity or humour and sometimes all three.
The use of different media permits her to transpose a sense of realism and combine it with unexpected or surreal elements. The result is never meant to be serious or controversial. It is about revisiting these compact and opaque urbanscapes by telling new stories, the fruit of pure imagination...