[ 28 Aug - 26 September 2015 ]

Sylvain Mazas: Polymatics

illustrator in residence, as part of 'Les Fran├žais Arrivent!'

Sylvain Mazas: Polymatics
Sylvain Mazas, photo: Philippe Somnolet

In close collaboration with ‘Les Français Arrivent!’, GEMAK welcomes the French designer/illustrator Sylvain Mazas as artist in residence from 28 August till 26 September 2015.


Illustrator-in-residence period: 28 August – 26 September 2015

Un tour de France des jeunes designers graphiques: 22 August – 12 September 2015

The audio-visual part will be on view until the 26-th of September at GEMAK

Sylvain Mazas was born in 1980 in Chambéry, France. After studying illustration in Paris and Strasbourg, he moved to Berlin to finish his studies in graphic design at the Kunsthochschule Berlin-Weißensee. Since 2007, he works in Berlin and Stralsund, mainly as a type designer at LucasFonts, where he specialized in Arabic type, as a graphic designer at the mückenschwein publishing house, and as a freelance graphic designer and illustrator.

In his cross-over project Polymatics, in which he researches the visualization of mathematical problems, Mazas will use the walls of the GEMAK exhibition space. The official opening of the project will take place during Museum Night, on Friday 5 September 2015 at 8 pm.


Why Maths?

As a teenager I wanted to study the arts and become a children’s book illustrator, but I had good grades in science, so my parents convinced me to choose science for my high school degree. I complained a lot about it, but a few years later I realized it was not for nothing. I realized how everything is connected. The first connection I discovered was between the visual arts and music. I realized that I could apply almost everything I learned in illustration to music.

The second important connection appeared to me when I was in Beirut, working on my first book project. I was trying to apply my knowledge about illustration and design to politics and was pleasantly surprised that it worked so well. The book included some basic geometry.

Last year I published the second part of the book. Some of my research happened to dive into “real” mathematics. Then I realized how visual mathematics can be and started to look for visual representations of numbers.

When I first talked about my project to a mathematician friend of mine, she thought I wanted to use math to do design. My aim, however, is to use design to do math.

My research so far has been drawn in my sketchbooks. Starting this week I have the privilege to work in-situ in the GEMAK gallery and give my research all the place it needs.

(Sylvain Mazas, 27 August 2015)

As part of ‘Les Français Arrivent!’, GEMAK will also show a substantial part of the special exhibition “Un tour de France des jeunes designers graphiques” with graphic work by young French designers. The other part of ‘Un Tour de France des Jeunes Talents’, is shown at the Haagse Kunstkring between 22 August and 13 September 2015. For more info:

Participating young French graphic designers in GEMAK:

V. Le Jeune Durhin, E. Gilardeau, A. Perrin, Akatre, Julie Cronier, La Casse, T. Henni, J. Legendre, J. Priez, Arrache-toi un oeil, D. Boeshlin, H. Mariam, Benoît Bodhuin, Alain Vonck,
Atelier Müesli;

Videoworks by:

Adrien Merigeau, AntiVJ, Benjamin Ducroz, Céline Desrumaux, Dimitri Stankowicz, Donc Voilá Productions, Moustache, Irina Dakeva, Marie Vieillevie, Maxime Bruneel, Mécaniques Discursives (Frédéric Pennelle & Yannick Jacquet), Mr. Walter, Olivier Marquézy, Patrick Jean, Romain Ségaud, The Holograms and Vladimir Mavounia-Kouka., will be shown.

Thanks to Bertine Colsen & Carlijn van Vlijmen (Les Français Arrivent!)
en Guus Boudestein

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