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April 20, 2024

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Taking pride in a home that is an ‘artistic mess’

A neat space is transformed into a home of “artistic mess.”

Jeremie Thircuir takes pride in his unique ability to fill the room with his artwork collection.

“In other words, I brought life and warmth to it,” the Frenchman said.

Thircuir, from Paris, has spent the last 18 years in China, alternating between Beijing and Shanghai. As a curator, he has been involved in the Chinese contemporary art community since 2006 and is interested in experimenting with unconventional exhibition formats that combine rigorous academic content with playfulness and accessibility.

His Shanghai residence reflects his life as a curator and ceramic artist. In addition to contributing to the art and culture portions of the LV City Guide for Shanghai and Beijing, he is in the process of launching a sustainable toilet paper brand called Qtopia.

Thircuir found his apartment within two hours.

“My only requirements were a good kitchen and a terrace. This one fit, so I grabbed it. I don’t regret it,” he said of the flat in which he has lived for three years.

“I like that even though it’s just off Huaihai Road M., it feels like I’m somewhere in the countryside.”

Its location in the tree-lined downtown with many good local delis and without too many people posing for pictures is very appealing.

He has no preference for a particular style in his home. He merely personalizes the room with a variety of artworks, and the room highlights the art and things in it.

“I don’t decorate; I accumulate. I wish I could be one of those people who own only 20 items. As a curator and ceramic artist who has spent many years in China, I have acquired a large number of items that I have purchased, commissioned, manufactured, or simply ended up in my flat,” Thircuir explained.

“It’s like a lovely collection of nice leftovers from projects or friendships. I’ve always wanted to possess a piece from each artist with whom I’ve collaborated or published while running my publishing firm. It’s a method for me to have a tangible remembrance of everything I’ve done or the wonderful artists I’ve met.”

Every artwork or thing has a story to tell. The portrait photograph by Han Lei greets anybody who enters, creating a nice and serene mood in the flat. It was taken in Henan Province around the late 1990s. Han is a pivotal figure in Chinese photography, representing the first generation of independent photographers in China.

Ceramic works by Thircuir or other artists are displayed in different corners of the living room. Thircuir’s ceramic pieces are made of jade porcelain and modeled on fruits or vegetables that he found appealing due to their forms.

“They are a playful and elegant way of making us notice how beautiful the forms we see and eat daily but tend to ignore. It is also a tribute to European decorative art, where food is frequently depicted in ceramics. I just take a more contemporary and minimalist approach to it,” he said.

Among the artworks is a hilarious chicken vase created by Lin Wei-wei, an artist and illustrator from Taiwan.

“It’s incredibly funny yet has an odd feel to it. We collaborated on an exhibition in Suzhou on Chinese gardens that I curated last year, and she did the illustrations,” Thircuir said.

Next to it is a vase by Wang Ruohan, a Berlin-based illustrator.

“We created these vases in Jingdezhen, mixing several skills. It’s a reinterpretation of traditional blue-and-white porcelain with Wang’s naive motifs,” he said.

Although most of the works are by Chinese artists, there are a few paintings by French painters such as Julien des Monstiers, Ronan Barrot and Adrien Lecuru, who traveled to China for various projects and ended up becoming good friends.

Thircuir spends most of his time on the terrace when it isn’t raining. The table is fashioned from an old village door, with legs sourced from Taobao. He makes all of the pots and tableware in Jingdezhen.

“When I’m not wandering around, I spend most of my time at home. It’s a very direct extension of myself, what I do, and the people I work with. It’s about my image — a quite chaotic place that is full of life,” he said.


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