interview Thibaud Poirier

YellowKorner invites you to discover a new artist: Thibaud Poirier. Passionate about architecture and urban environments, his work, centred on these themes, pays very special attention to perspective, lighting, colour, and image definition. His photographs are available in numbered limited edition at your local YellowKorner gallery and on YellowKorner.com.



When did you start practising photography? What is your professional background?

I started photography in 2013 as a way of discovering my city, Paris, and of documenting the streets, the architecture, and the way of life in the various neighbourhoods. I was lucky enough to travel extensively as a child and to have lived all over the world, in cities in Africa, South and North America, and Asia. My father worked as an expatriate for a major group on the CAC40 and my childhood and teenage years involved many moves, to Houston, Montreal, Buenos Aires, or Tokyo, which gave me a taste for architecture and urban milieus. I think that my time in Tokyo as a teenager, from the ages of 12 to 17, had the most profound influence on me. My contact with the architecture of Tadao Ando or Rafael Vinoly developed into a passion that is now the main theme of my photography but also my principal activity.

Alongside my career as a photographer, I studied engineering and I am now also a consultant in refurbishment and interior design, which allows me to rub shoulders on a day-to-day basis with architects, artisans, or CEOs. These two hats, as a consultant and photographer, give me a broader view of architecture, combining functionality, the understanding of volumes, and interior aesthetics.


WHEN AND TO WHAT END HAVE YOU CREATED THESE PHOTOGRAPHS?

My new passion for urban exploration soon encouraged me to travel more often for the purposes of photography and focus again on megalopolises (Dubai, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Shanghai). The modernity, energy, and dimensions of these cities reminded me of my teenage years in Japan and fascinated me. The omnipresent modern architecture, very different from the classicism of Paris, liberated me and gave rise to numerous urban series, most of which were taken at night. These series led me to rethink my photography work more deeply and my interest in lighting, perspective, and composition enabled me to develop a style that shows the buildings to their best advantage.

My sensitivity to the aesthetic and functionality of interiors fostered my desire to sublimate their role in human life. Sometimes my subjects are temples of knowledge or sacred sites, and I’ve created series on the most beautiful libraries and churches in the world. I chose libraries and churches because I wanted to explore a range of ages and show how a space with a similar function could be interpreted so differently geographically and over the centuries.


Is it a personal project or an order?

Personal


WHICH PHOTOGRAPHIC PROCEDURE DID YOU USE AND WHAT WERE THE DESIRED EFFECTS?

In my photos, I’ve opted for a central point of view, enabling the symmetry and perspective of these places to be enhanced, giving the spectator a chance to fully appreciate the space by creating a sense of immersion within the photo. It is also a way for me to pay tribute to some of my favourite photographers such as Candida Hofer and Hiroshi Sugimoto, who had developed this technique with series on the interiors of monuments the world over or movie theatres plunged into darkness. My approach, however, is more modern, using digital photography and privileging a more colourful and contrasted retouching approach than my idols.

"For the series of libraries and churches, I wanted to be able to feel a connection with these majestic places and share them, as spaces that retain a function remaining unchanged over the centuries."

WHAT ARE YOUR MAIN SOURCES OF INFLUENCE?

The world we live in is constantly changing and I really appreciate the old photos and postcards of cities that I know today (Paris in the 1900s, New York in the 1950/60s or Tokyo in the 1980s). I am particularly influenced by photographers from the ‘80s, ‘90s, and 2000s and by the cinema in general. Architecture, shop fronts, signs, everything has changed, and I want to document these places for the future. There’s a slightly nostalgic aspect that results from this. I also want to be able to share my vision of architecture and of these cities that I find so beautiful.


Why photography?

I’ve always been a very visual person and since I was a teenager I’ve developed a passion for both cinema and architecture, when I was living in Japan. In adulthood, photography has naturally allowed me to explore these passions with a new eye.


Your inspiration (artistically, in particular)? Your favourites among the YK collection?

I am particularly influenced by art photographers (like Thomas Struth, Candida Hofer, Michael Wolf, and Hiroshi Sugimoto) and by cinema in general.

I’ve always loved the work of Franck Bohbot and Nicolas Bets’ stagings.


What characterises your style (your series, your photography)?

I have a rather methodical approach that is perfectly suited to architecture photography and I love contrasted and colourful retouching.


The context of creation of this series?

For the series of libraries and churches, I wanted to be able to feel a connection with these majestic places and share the way in which a space with an identical function can be interpreted in such different ways geographically and over the centuries.


The photo that you would love to have taken?

It’s hard to choose just one! My dream would’ve been to photograph the architecture of the 1900 World Fair in Paris.


Your most recent award / finest achievement? Your upcoming projects?

This year, I will exhibit the library series at my first photo festival n Brescia, Italy.

This year I want to photograph my city, Paris, and so I have several projects underway on interiors in relation to music and also on streets in the capital.


Do you have an anecdote to share with us? The photo that you would love to have taken?

I spent all of my teenage years in Tokyo so I have a deep love of Japan.
It’s hard to choose just one! My dream would’ve been to photograph the architecture of the 1900 World Fair in Paris.


Discover now the latest artworks of Thibaud Poirier