Ancient spiritual practices, esoteric rituals, re-imagined mythological imageries and religious behaviors are at the center of Sandrine Llouquet’s practice. Fascinated by the powerful influences that religions and beliefs have played in many aspects of human existence, Llouquet has been searching for common connections between them to try to understand their unshakable importance in the human psyche. Influenced by psychological and philosophical texts, Llouquet has been building an array of realms inhabited by magical, often esoteric creatures.
Llouquet’s interest in religion lies in the evolution of its rituals, iconography and manifestations rather than from a theological perspective. Stemming from a personal curiosity in mythology and legends, the artist collects images, pictures and texts, which then, like in alchemy, are transmuted into esoteric worlds where eeriness and ethereal magic live side by side. Since moving to Ho Chi Minh City in 2005, Caodaism (a southern Vietnamese monotheistic religion that incorporates teachings from Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism and Christianity) has been another inspiration for Llouquet, who sees it as an example of Vietnamese culture and its ability to freely absorb a variety of sources and merge them together without restrictions. This same principle is applied in her work where she creates her own universe of religious gestures, imageries, rituals and movements and through it, viewers can ascertain her personal creative recollection and make it their own.
Born in 1975 in Montpellier, France, Llouquet graduated from École Pilote Internationale d’Art et de Recherche – Villa Arson in 1999. A major contributor to the development of contemporary art in Vietnam, she was a founding member of Wonderful District (2005-2011), a project that promoted contemporary art through exhibitions, concerts and theatre pieces, as well as a member of Mogas Station (2006-2007), a Vietnam-based artist collective. Llouquet’s work has been exhibited in numerous venues including the Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, California and Tate Modern, London. In 2016 she presented a major project on the culture of Japan’s Edo Period including yokai (monsters), misemono goya (popular fair exhibitions) and rangaku (Dutch learning) at KENPOKU Art in Ibaraki, Japan (2016). She has also participated in a number of biennales with Mogas Station such as the Shenzhen Biennale (2007), the Singapore Biennale (2006) and in Migration Addicts – a collateral event of the 52nd Venice Biennale.
Llouquet is based in Ho Chi Minh City.