Acknowledgment of Laetitia Lesaffre and her Kintsugi series honoring women victims of abuse.

Rewarded during the 360° Roundtable on domestic violence held at the Ministry of Health, Laetitia Lesaffre’s artworks drew plenty of attention and are now exhibited at the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance.   

We are delighted to share this news bulletin regarding an artist in our selection we hold dear: Laetitia Lesaffre

From November 22nd to December 2nd, she will be honored and exhibited at the French Ministry for the Economy and Finance in Paris. Her series, “Kintsugi reflets de femmes” (reflexions of women), was first unveiled at the Pontoise District Court to punctuate the debate relating to women victims of domestic violence. Cordially invited by Deputy Fiona Lazaar, Laetitia Lesaffre presented her series to Elisabeth Moreno, Minister in charge of equality, and other deputies who attended the roundtable that was held at the Ministry of Health.

For those who do not know her yet, this new institutional exhibit in Paris is a wonderful opportunity to discover her art, her talent, her artworks, and, in particular, her singular series entitled “Kintsugi reflets de femmes” which honors women victims of abuse. 

Her objective : To sublimate these women by way of kintsugi, an ancestral art form.

 « The desire to create this series came to me when I began reading about kintsugi while I researched lacquerers. When I realized the magnitude of the “Metoo” movement and felt the strength in the voices of women who spoke out, kintsugi’s symbolism truly struck with me.”

Besides the beauty of the artworks, the approach, what is symbolizes are extremely powerful.

Kintsugi, meaning “golden seams” is the art of resilience. By highlighting scars with gold and assembling and joining together scattered pieces, Kintsugi (or Kintsukuroi) brings new life to broken objects, hence rendered more refined and precious. A beautiful metaphor Laetitia explores by combining her art and creative process with the art of kintsugi.

Laetitia Lesaffre’s art ? Portraits : each artwork is a photograph of composed lighting combined with the model’s reflection in lacquered panels specially created by Laetitia according to ancestral Asian methods. Her portraits reveal spirit, poetry, timelessness, humanity, woman, man, child…

For this very unique series, Laetitia wanted to meet with the victims beforehand, to speak and listen to them, before diving into the darkness of her studios for her photo shoot. Her studio’s ambiance is made of shadows, light, of intimacy and introspection, and of reflections in mirrors that are actually large wooden panels lacquered in hues of red, black, blue or green.

Of the entire photo session, only one picture will be kept. Then, instead of printing the image onto Beaux-Arts paper like she usually does, Laetitia Lesaffre will print it on ceramic instead and will break carefully with a chisel. Lastly, with tubes of lacquer and a jar containing 24-carat gold placed on the table, she will meticulously piece the broken ceramic portrait back together, overwhelmed by the emotion the reconstruction inflicts and by what Laetitia has learned about each victim.

In resonance, an echo to the number of women victims of abuse which outrageously increased during the Covid-19 pandemic and its successive lockdowns (>60%), this series makes sense, it is legitimate and it broadens its outreach.

Laetitia Lesaffre : “By highlighting their fault lines with kintsugi, it is in turn their core strengths that I sublimate.”

Laetitia Lesaffre : “By highlighting their fault lines with kintsugi, it is in turn their core strengths that I sublimate.”

Exhibition info

  •     Biennale de photographie : Mairie du 15e, invitée d’honneur. Du 10 au 14 Novembre dans les salons d’honneur de la Mairie du 15e..
  •     Exposition des oeuvres Kintsugi au Ministère de l’économie et des Finances du 22 Novembre au 2 Décembre.
  •     Exposition à Leuven, Belgique  :  galerie Frans Vanhove.
  •     Exposition Natures partagées sur les grilles du Parc des Buttes Chaumont.

Article published by Anne Patoiseau