The Sleeper in the Vale is a mix-media art piece inspired by an area of Hong Kong that Frédéric cherishes: Yuen Long’s Wetlands. It is a narrative painting featuring a giant female android resting on a marshy landscape, while being impaled by a lance made of real neon.
The Wetlands are a particular area of the Northern Territories, flat, without trees, covered mostly by water pools where are breed fishes. It is also the visual frontier between Hong Kong and Shenzhen. It is a relaxing place and feels being a disconnection from modern civilization. The female character is resting in this peaceful place.
This art piece directly refers to a great poem by Arthur Rimbaud, Le Dormeur du Val, by the composition and its symbolic. Even if the android seems resting, the lance runs through her body and revealed that she is being murdered. Going beyond the original poem which plays on the peacefulness of the model, additional clues can be found: she is not human, she is an android, and, at her feet, is the ending of what appears being a city. The android represents the ultra-modernity of Hong Kong, which Frédéric personally finds hard to escape: the city swallows you, years pass and we succeed to forget that we surrounded by forest and Nature. It feels hard to break free the crazy pace we’re living in and this is what this art piece is all about.
Frédéric wanted this painting to be figurative to be able to convey a complex narrative and to feature a place that not everyone may know: this is also an invitation to have a look at this beautiful site. The use of the neon features the disruptive factor of the storyline and comes out of our own perception, which could be considered as contained within the frame. The lance’s existence is beyond our scope of anticipation and refers to the Lance of Longinus which pierced the side of Jesus and also, from the anime Evangelion, can pierce through godlike giant beings.
The Sleeper in the Vale 是一個混合媒體藝術作品，靈感來自藝術家Frédéric非常珍愛的香港地區：元朗濕地。 這幅敘事畫展示了一個巨型女機器人在沼澤地上休息，身上被一道霓虹燈長矛所刺穿。
元朗濕地是新界一個非常獨特的地區，它平坦，沒有樹木，主要被魚池所覆蓋。 視覺上，它是香港和深圳之間的分野。 這個令人鬆馳的地方，感覺遠離現代文明煩囂。 作品的女主角就在這個寧謐的地方歇息。