From 29 January to 21 February 2021, Gallery by the Harbour holds the “Le Petit Prince – Le Havre” exhibition by artist Steven Choi. A prelude to Part II of Le Petit Prince, this exhibition showcases over 30 artworks illustrating the Prince’s everyday life while wandering around the galaxy. Like Le Havre, which offers a soulful refuge, this show illustrates how fruitful and rewarding life can be even with minimal materialistic possessions.
Highly acclaimed by Le Petit Prince’s French licensee, local illustrator Steven Choi has made history by becoming the first Chinese to be officially authorized to illustrate Le Petit Prince Picture Books. Choi’s unique aesthetic has won him international acclaim and multiple awards worldwide. Indeed, his works can be found in numerous world-renowned galleries, including the Louvre Museum, Tate Modern Museum, Centre Pompidou and more.
This new exhibition showcases artworks from the Le Petit Prince Picture Book 2020 Special Edition, and premiers a brand-new sequel to Le Petit Prince. Choi has blended in various new elements into the classic tale, including personifying the Prince’s beloved Rose as a fair lady for the first time ever. In their re-encounter, the lovers write on their moving story: Rose left the planet in search of the Prince, and felt profoundly what love is and became an earthling. Their story is the most beautiful, genuine manifestation of LOVE.
Moreover, the exhibition introduces the sequel’s new characters, such as the adorable little foxes, all of which are an extension of the original imagery and relationships found in the classic.
It took almost a year for the artist to prepare for the exhibition. The painting itself is, needless to say, no trouble to the talented artist, but the composition of the story is the most painstaking part. He admits that he was deeply impressed by a Finnish artist’s exhibition, where the artworks are static but very intense. Inspired, he decided to draw Le Petit Prince in a way that no one is familiar with.
Everyone has his/her own interpretation on Le Petit Prince. And to Steven, the messages conveyed in the story are similar to his design and work ethic, which is, one has to observe very carefully with the heart to understand the important messages hidden in a work. In conceptualizing his new creation, he expresses such theme that “one must not see with the eye, but with the heart”. Using this theme, his Little Prince always closes his eyes to perceive everything fully with his heart.
To create these works, Steven uses a lot of different brush strokes and textures, sometimes light, sometimes heavy, reflecting every emotion the Prince has. Many of his artworks also come with metaphors hidden in the drawing, such as changing the Prince’s scarf from the classic yellow to red as he leaves planet B612, which portrays his lingering desire for Rose. In his drawing, Rose grows in size as her ego does. Every artwork comes with multiple m, which requires viewers to appreciate each work in detail in order to fully understand its rich meaning. Meanwhile, says he’s grateful that because of the Le Petit Prince Project has sharped his skills in painting and drawing.
Steven tells us that his two favourite works of the exhibition are Love in Cape and Tiger and snow, two works specifically created with a deep sense of spaciousness and melancholy. Both works are about going through hardships to find the beloved. The latter one was also inspired by an Italian movie, which tells the story of waiting patiently out of love for a miracle, and which is a subject that profoundly touches him. Through the exhibition, his wishes to provide a safe haven for every soul, giving everyone a chance to find back the true sense of self and innocence.
The exhibition is held in two phases. From 10 Feb onwards, plenty of new paintings have been displayed for the audience’s deeper view and understanding of the of world of Le Petit Prince created by Steven. Meanwhile, to celebrate Valentine’s Day, several souvenirs have been created and released in collaboration with different brands. Don’t forget to come and pick some sweet gifts for your loved ones!
Fans of Le Petit Prince can’t miss the chance to take photos with a nearly one-metre-tall Le Petit Prince sculpture, or create a heart-warming souvenir with the Le Petit Prince Coin Presser. This is also the perfect opportunity to purchase the 75th Anniversary limited-edition Le Petit Prince Picture Book, and a variety of Le Petit Prince collaboration collectables, including paper art, blind box toys, calendar, tote bag and herbal tea sets, all of which enable you to experience Le Petit Prince’s heartfelt blessings at home.
As the new year unfolds, let us put aside our troubled minds and hearts, and instead find comfort in art and calmness. Let us listen to our inner voice and allow the laughter of our long-forgotten inner child to return once more. In the year ahead, may we all experience growth and love with Le Petit Prince, and cherish the little things in our everyday lives!
“Travelling through the rainforest from B-612 asteroid
trapped in the wilderness from afar,
all premature deaths have become bygone memories,
disappeared in the blowing wind of time,
with no remembrances of the chaos and peace that once happened.
Only in the bay of déjà vu
that in a poem’s time can we
search for what is unforgettable from the origin –
the name of the rose.”
Date: 29 January – 21 February 2021
Venue: Gallery by the Harbour (Shop 207, Level 2, Ocean Centre, Harbour City)
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