Nature 2016

“Huynh’s sensibility partakes of a strikingly classical quality. His images are distilled, pure, contained, and idealized. There is a Platonic, otherworldly quality to these forms, as if the person, plant, or fruit represents a timeless reality beyond the one given to us by our senses, as if the photographer seeks to unveil hidden symmetries in nature through his lens. [...] There is, however, a restrained sensuality in Huynh’s black and white representations, in which woman and plant are bound together through the age-old pairing of femininity with the burgeoning earth. We are given mirror images of a woman’s pregnant belly followed by roots that make me think of the spindle shaped cells deep in the cerebral cortex. We examine the bulbous strangeness of a sprouting celeriac and the roll of a woman’s haunch beside the unfolding form of a leaf. The coupling of a blackberry with its tiny hairs and the eyelashes of Huynh’s model, Huyn, brings a pleasurable surprise. A curled pepper resembles a cropped female nude. [...] Jean-Baptiste Huynh’s photographs investigate natural forms as perceptual isolates that produce meaning through staged pairings that generate visual meanings in the viewer, likenesses that emerge not so much from the things or persons in themselves but from the artist’s way of seeing them, from his depiction of an abstract idea of the beauty in nature through the camera’s lens.” - Siri Husvedt

The following authors contributed to this work:
• Siri Hustvedt, American writer and poet
• Henry-Claude Cousseau, heritage chief curator, director of the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts in Paris from 2000 through 2011
• Emanuel Ungaro, leading fashion designer
• Antonio Damasio, neuroscientist