Tsuyu Bridwell

A Wish on a Wing

Encapsulating a thousand butterflies

by The Real Riviera editorial

A floating spotlight of white butterflies delicately floats in the lobby area of the Metropole Hotel, it is truly enchanting. Tsuyu Bridwell is an artist living and working in Paris. The work titled ‘A wish on a wing’ is a visual poetic expression of the ephemeral and perhaps another dimension. Origami butterflies are the main symbolic of the art piece that dance through the air fixed to nylon threads. A beautiful artwork that leaves little to discuss with words. 

The delicate and magical work of Tsuyu Bridwell invites the imagination to expand and to reflect. A reminder message to dwell in  the silence of the work.  It is really a clear example of an artist creating an experience, a subtle memory for spectators to take away with them. We asked Tsuyu more about her work : 



Where is your source of inspiration, do you visit Japan frequently?

I have multiple inspirations. My inspiration can sometimes be visual, like a small detail on the corner of a street, a crack in a wall, anything that catches my eye; I like to transform a natural vision into my own phantasmagoria. I am also interested in traditions, beliefs, and rituals. I find it touching how human beings find their way through some of life’s most difficult experiences, so yes, life, in general, is very inspiring. For “A Wish on a Wing,” part of the inspiration is the Japanese tradition of folding one thousand origami cranes in hopes that your wish will come true. Another element of the piece is the vision of a swarm of insects in the forest, which was an early inspiration for my work.

I don’t go to Japan as much as I would like to. With traditional Japanese woodworking in my family and having both my parents as painters, I grew up in an environment where craftsmanship was respected. My work is certainly inspired by different techniques of craftsmanship.

How long did it take you?

Quite a long time in fact! (more than a year). I usually don’t like to say how long it takes to realise a piece because it’s simply not the purpose of my work. I don’t take any pride in saying how many hours I spent. Obviously, the hours I spend folding thousands of butterflies for a piece are part of the public’s fascination towards my work, but ideally, I would like the viewer to forget how long it took to create and focus on the impression the image leaves them with.

What inspires you generally to create art?

An empty space is always inspiring: I think of what I can fill it with.

The materials are inspiring, too. I love to discover materials that make me want to create art… sometimes even before I have the idea for a piece.

What are you working on currently?

Lately, I am crazy about working with sterling-silver leaf. I would also like to think of an installation that involves living flowers and plants…

Where can we see your work?

As one of the 12 finalists for the Luxembourg Art Prize, my work is currently being exhibited at La Pinacothèque de Luxembourg until December 15th, 2018.

Otherwise, you can see my work at tsuyubridwell.com or, if you are in Paris, you can make an appointment to visit my atelier.

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