Nicolas Buffe, a French artist based in Tokyo, is the creator behind a multifaceted, interdisciplinary world combining erudite and popular culture.
Born in 1978, he belongs to a generation naturally marked by Japanese culture, developing from childhood a passion for cartoons, manga and video games. These references were supplemented throughout the course of his studies by classic works of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, such as The Romance of the Rose and The Dream of Poliphilus. This blending of narrative and visual influences is omnipresent in his work, which is based on the humanistic notion of «serio ludere» or «playing seriously».
His work has been presented in France and internationally through exhibitions and outstanding installations, such as in La Maison Rouge (2007, Le Vestibule), Tokyo Contemporary art museum (2008), MAD Paris (2010, Circuit Céramique), Hara Museum of contemporary art de Tokyo (2014, soloshow), Théâtre du Châtelet – Paris and Nijō Castle – Kyoto (Nuit Blanche 2016), French May at Hong Kong City Hall, and K11 Hong Kong (2017 soloshows), Sèvres : 300 Creative years (2017-2018, Suntory Museum – Tokyo and Osaka, Hagi, Shizuoka). Roppongi Art Night (2018, Tokyo) and Magiques Licornes at Musée de Cluny – Paris (2018-19). Over the winter of 2018-2019, he set up a monumental installation inside Ginza Six in Tokyo.
This fusion of narrative and visual influence is omnipresent in his work, mostly based on drawing and the humanist notion of Serio Ludere or playing seriously.
Photo by ImagenSubliminal (Miguel de Guzman + Rocio Romero), 2018
Nicolas Buffe also enjoys exploring multiple creative domains : alongside partnerships with cultural institutions (Craft Limoges, Aubusson International City of Tapestry and Woven Art (1st Prize 2010 for “Peau de Licorne”), Sèvres – Cité de la Céramique, ..), he developed several collaborations in the areas of luxury and fashion (Hermès, Comme des Garçons, Pierre Hermé, N2 ..). Nicolas Buffe ventured into opera and created on two occasions for the Théâtre du Châtelet in Paris stage and costume designs (2012 Best Scenic Design of the year for Haydn’s “Orlando Paladino”). He created in 2017 on the theme of Orpheus the front stage curtain of “La Seine Musicale” on the Seguin Island near Paris. Recently, in 2018, he designed one of the five facades of the the Museum Garage in Miami’s Design District (project curated by Terence Riley, with WORKac; J. Mayer H.; Clavel Arquitectos; K/R). In 2018 he was appointed Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Government (ceremony in 2019). Beginning in 2020, on the occasion of a new collaboration with Medicom Toy he releases several of his iconic works.