• Noémie Goudal, Soulèvement V, Lambda print, 150 x 120 cm, 2018 © Noémie Goudal

  • Noémie Goudal, Soulèvement V, Lambda print, 150 x 120 cm, 2018 © Noémie Goudal


“ROCKS!” gathers the outlooks of five French and Chinese artists on mineral: Zhan Wang (1962), Jonathan Bréchignac (1985), Charlotte Charbonnel (1980), Noémie Goudal (1984) and Shao Wenhuan (1971).

The starting point of this exhibition lies in the typically Chinese tradition of stone collecting. Chinese scholars used to pick stones or rocks, preferably those eroded by time or natural elements, in order to decorate their gardens or studios. When combined with water, rocks symbolising the mountain, become miniature reproductions of nature. The result acts as sources of escape from the everyday life, contributing to aesthetic comfort and spiritual enrichment.

This tradition finds a distant echo in cabinets of curiosities, miniature collections of natural and man made objects that mirror the world. An erudite and aesthetic practice that started in the Renaissance and marked humanity’s step forward to a more scientific classification and apprehension of the world. Like a scholar’s garden or a contemporary cabinet of curiosities, the exhibition explores the link between nature and artifice and questions this east-west convergence: hybrid sculptures made of natural stones and composite materials, performances in natural landscapes to create illusionistic photographic montages or forms created by the hands of nature alongside the artist, to chemical experiments in the darkroom of mineral matter itself… The artists of “ROCKS!” question our perceptions and evoke the mystery of stones. Because, beyond their fixed and frozen form, these stones impregnated with the world’s movements are the results of successive sedimentations and the witnesses of abyssal times dating back to millions or billions of years.

ICICLE is delighted to invite the Parisian public to be enchanted by the artistic world of minerals, especially during the major Parisian art fairs of the fall. “ROCKS!” is part of the “À Paris pendant la FIAC“ program.

  • Zhan Wang

  • Zhan Wang, Artificial Rock, Polished stainless steel, 112 × 70 × 30 cm, Ed 5_8, 2004 © Zhan Wang _ Courtesy Loft Gallery


Zhan Wang was born in Bejing in 1962, where he currently lives and work. Trained from an early age in painting and drawing by his grandfather and uncle, he then specialised in sculpture during his studies at the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China (CAFA).

In his 1990 series, Sidewalk, Zhan Wang attempts to break with the sculptural tradition of depicting only religious or heroic figures, choosing anonymous people as subject and resin as his medium rather than the traditional bronze and marble. He covered these life-size sculptures with real clothes before painting them. This series is considered the starting point of the hyper-realist sculpture movement in China. In 1994, Zhan Wang began experimenting with conceptual sculpture in his series Free and Natural Space, bodiless shapes contained in Mao suits in distorted postures. The same idea of a empty “shell” presides over his most famous series, Artificial Rock. Zhan Wang painstakingly hammers, bends, heats and moulds stainless steel plates onto traditional scholar’s stones, then removes the “skin” in sections and welds them together to create a cold, hollow copy of the rock, whose surface reflects the industrialised world. Artificial Rock is the first contemporary Chinese sculpture collected by the Metropolitan Museum.

From the British Museum (London) to LACMA (Los Angeles) and the Mori Art Museum (Tokyo), Zhan Wang has been exhibited internationally. He is represented in France by the Loft Gallery (Paris).

  • Jonathan Bréchignac. Photo © Arnaud Deroudilhe

  • Jonathan Bréchignac, Stone Balancing (0020-20), Natural rock and various composite materials, 28 x 19 x 15 cm, 2020 © Jonathan Bréchignac


“ROCKS!” gathers the outlooks of five French and Chinese artists on mineral: Zhan Wang (1962), Jonathan Bréchignac (1985), Charlotte Charbonnel (1980), Noémie Goudal (1984) and Shao Wenhuan (1971).

Born in 1985 in Provence, Jonathan Bréchignac lives and works in Paris. He studied graphic design in Marseille and is a graduate of the Graphic Research School ERG (Brussels).

Bioluminescent algae, iridescent beetles, luminous refractions, moving stones, Jonathan Bréchignac’s work takes these natural phenomena as star ting point. To him, they have retained a power of fascination despite being proven by scientific reasoning. His interdisciplinary practice mixes sculpture, installation and painting. The exploration of material occupies an important place in his work, which follows scientific codes and protocols (collection of samples, experiments and laboratory equipment…). By recreating “life” with synthetic materials, staged with new technologies, Jonathan Bréchignac creates a poetic network of fascination: He questions the border between artificial and natural as well as the relationship we have with life and time. In his work, the evocation of popular myths, scientific and esoteric theories blurs the boundaries between fiction and reality. He points out the limits of our capacity to comprehend the world, thus revealing the processes from which emerges our beliefs.

In 2021, Jonathan Bréchignac was the winner of the Ar t of Change 21 prize, sponsored by Ruinart. His work have been exhibited at Chapelle XIV and at the Guido Romero Pierini gallery.

  • Charlotte Charbonnel. Photo © Vincent Blesbois


Born in 1980, Charlotte Charbonnel lives and works in Paris. After a three-month stay in India at the Sanskriti Kendra Foundation in 2003, she resumed her studies and graduated from the Beaux-Arts in Tours (2004) as well as from the Arts décoratifs (2008).

Named “Woman to Watch” in 2018 by Washington’s National Museum of Women in the Arts, (D.C.), she exhibited her works in various institutions including Le Centre d’art contemporain la Maréchalerie in Versailles, the Verrière Hermès in Brussels, the Réattu Museum in Arles, the Domaine de Chamarande in Essonne, the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the MAC VAL in Vitry-sur-Seine, or recently at the Abbaye de Maubuisson in St.Ouen l’Aumône and at the Creux de l’Enfer (Hell’s Hollow) in Thiers. Her work is present in several public and private collections and has received numerous creative grants. Several catalogs of exhibition have been published as well as a monograph A07-A17 of her work, published by Presses du réel. She is represented by the Backslash gallery (Paris).

For some years now, Charlotte Charbonnel’s aim is to weave the invisible connections between elemental materials of the universe. Her work stems from an empirical research with multiple entries: listening to and capturing material or natural phenomena, exploring different states of matter, and meticulously observing elusive substances’. (Nathalie Desmet) The artist pushes matter to conceive its own illusion through installations and sculptures. She probes our environment to bring out its natural forces and make us feel its flow. As she listened to the world, she explored and transmitted the acoustic vibration of the places where she was invited to exhibit. Her multidisciplinary practice is linked to space and is nourished by “sciences”, collaborations and investigations of different fields and disciplines.

  • Noémie Goudal. Photo © Alexandre Guirkinger

  • Noémie Goudal, Soulèvement III, Lambda print, 150 x 120 cm, 2018 © Noémie Goudal


Noémie Goudal was born in 1984 in Paris where she lives and work. She graduated from the Royal College of Arts and from London’s. prestigious St. Martins School.

Noémie Goudal examines the potential of an image as a whole using film, photography and installation, she likes to reconstruct its layers and extended possibilities. Oscillating between reality and invention, her images present largescale installations in natural spaces that renew the very notion of landscape in our contemporary society.

She received numerous awards including the HSBC Prize in 2013 and the RCA Sustain Award in 2010. Her work has been the subject of solo exhibitions, including the FOAM museum in Amsterdam, the Photographers Gallery in London in 2015, the BAL in Paris in 2016, the Abbaye de Jumièges in 2017, the Finnish Museum of Photography in Helsinki, the Fotografiska in Stockholm in 2018, the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Le Locle (Switzerland) in 2019, the Contemporary Art Museum in Ballarat (Australia) as well as the Kundsverein in Hildesheim, (Germany). Her work has been included in numerous public and private collections such as the Centre Pompidou, the Saatchi Gallery, the Kiran Nadar collection and the FOAM Museum.

In 2018, she completed a residency at the Richard Neutra House in Los Angeles, and is currently in residence at the Manufacture de Sèvres, in the Île de France. In 2021, Noémie Goudal’s work will be showcased in several solo exhibitions: “Post Atlantica” at the Centre d’Art Le Grand Café (Saint Nazaire), a carte blanche at the Musée Delacroix as part of the PhotoSaintGermain festival (Paris), an exhibition at the Arendt House (Luxembourg), as well as solo presentations at the Frieze London and Barcelona’s Loop fairs. Noémie Goudal is represented by the gallery Les filles du calvaire.

  • Shao Wenhuan

  • Shao Wenhuan, Green Bloom of Decay 12, Silver print mounted on silk, pigments and photosensitive emulsion, 85 x 115 cm, 2013 © Shao Wenhuan


Shao Wenhuan was born in 1971 in Xinjiang (China), he lives and works in Hangzhou. He studied at the National School of Art in Dijon and graduated from the Chinese Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou, where he now teaches. His practice blends photography and painting to create metaphysical artworks inspired by nature. His work has been exhibited in China (Wuhan Museum, Shanghai Minsheng Art Museum, China Academy of Fine Arts Museum, Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, among others) and abroad: MOPH San Diego, San Francisco Art Institute (USA), Folkwang Museum (Germany), Lucerne Art Museum (Switzerland). His works have been included in prestigious collections such as the Uli Sigg Collection.


Created in 2017 by Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan, Doors 门艺 is a production and promotion agency for artistic projects based in Beijing and Paris. The agency aims at opening doors and fostering cultural exchanges between China and Europe through creative, innovative and unifying events. It collaborates with artists, institutions (Picasso Museum, UCCA, Giacometti Foundation, Henri Cartier-Bresson Foundation) and brands (Hennessy, Lafite, Cartier). In 2021, Doors organises the exhibition “KAIWU. Art and Design in China” at the Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse in Lille (France).

Bérénice Angremy and Victoria Jonathan, graduates from the École du Louvre (Paris) and Columbia University (New York) respectively, and have been living in between Paris and Beijing for twenty years. They directed the Jimei x Arles festival (2017-2019), created in China by ‘Les Rencontres d’Arles’ and the Three Shadows Photography Art Centre. They curated several exhibitions on Chinese art and photography such as “The Stars. Pioneers of contemporary art in China” (Paris, 2019), “Flowing Waters Never Return to the Source. Photographers Gazing at the River in China” (Abbaye de Jumièges, 2020), “Feng Li. White Night in Paris” and “Luo Yang of every genre” ((Photo Saint Germain, 2021)), “Lei Lei. Romance in Lushan Cinema” (Les Rencontres d’Arles and Jimei x Arles, 2019). In 2019, Gabrielle Petiau, former graduate of the Beaux-Arts de Nantes and former student of the Central Academy of Fine Arts of China (CAFA), joined the Doors team. She is co-director at the Biennale de l’Image Tangible.

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