All About Me

...in case you're curious

Life's labyrinth initially led me to music, where I spent two decades nurturing a professional ambition. Then, severe tinnitus struck, a ceaseless auditory affliction that redirected my life for the next two decades and shaped me into a Silence Architect. With only dim memories of true quietude, I now create mixed-media sculptures as physical tokens of the silence I seek. My dual mission is simple: to find personal moments of quiet amid life's dissonance, and to offer everyone a touchstone of stillness.

Portrait of Baptiste Tavernier

Me in a Nutshell

Education

Influences

Exhibition History

  • 2023 「Uchroniens」 — ARC.T Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • ​2021 「Windows」 — SGT Art Museum, Katsuura, Japan
  • ​2020 「Circles & Lines」 — SGT Art Museum, Katsuura, Japan
  • ​2019 「2501年」 — Courtyard Hiroo Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2018 「Filles D’Ariane」 — VR exhibition, Art Curator Japan
  • 2017 「Erring Ways」 — Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Japan, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2017 「Past Corridors」 — Haohaus Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2015 「Exploring Labyrinths – Gold」 — Galleria Farina, Miami, USA
  • 2014 「Mazes」 — Seikai Resort, Beppu, Japan
  • 2023 「Windows of the Soul」 — Whitestone Gallery, Hong Kong
  • 2023 「Away from Realism」 — SGT Art Museum, Katsuura, Japan
  • 2022 「Desert Water vol.7」 — Joint Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2021 「Art is Freedom」 — Parco Ikebukuro, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2021 「Cryptokyo」 — Ultrasupernew Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • ​2021 「24Molos」 — Terada Warehouse – What Cafe, Tokyo, Japan
  • ​2019 「Serenity」 — AHM Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
  • ​2019 「Soil Project: Dialogue Among 4 Cities」 — Huashan Creative Park, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2018 「W.E.」 — AHM Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2018 「Stay Asia」 — AHM Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2018 「Neo Japonisme – Résonances 2018」 — La Ferme des Arts, Vaison-la-Romaine, France
  • 2017 「East Meets West」 — Yuan Ru Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2017 「Apocalyptic Nostalgia」 — Yuan Ru Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan.
  • 2016 「Untitled」 — FM Gallery, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2015 「Kosan no Kai」 — Lucite Gallery, Tokyo, Japan
  • 2015 「19th Salon Blanc International Exhibition of Contemporary Art」 — Tokyo Metropolitan Art Museum, Japan
  • 2014「Opposites Attract」 —  Galleria Farina, Miami, USA
  • 2018 - Asia Contemporary Art Show, Hong Kong
  • 2017 - Art Square Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2017 - Art Santa Fe, USA
  • 2017 - Tokyo International Art Fair, Japan
  • 2017 - Art Central, Hong Kong
  • 2016 - Art Square Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2016 - Rotterdam International Art Fair, Netherlands
  • 2023 - Future Foundation Creator Award — Tokyo

Personal Story

Born among ancient ruins

Born and raised in the historic town of Vaison-la-Romaine, France, I've always been captivated by the Roman ruins that surround the city. I was always fascinated by the solemnity of those ancient stones and the palpable silence they seemed to radiate. As a child, I was deeply drawn to ancient mythologies, mazes, and labyrinths, often spending hours crafting my own intricate designs.

I started learning music at the age of 4 and studied drums, percussions and saxophone. That led me to pursue many years later a PhD in Musicology at Paris University, where I researched haptic interfaces for sound control and engaged in composing and performance projects.

As a teenager, my interests started shifting heavily towards science fiction, first through novels and movies, and later with animation. My world was turned upside down when I received a VHS copy of Akira as a gift when I was about 10, and I decided on that day that I would never waste my time anymore on shallow childish products like Disney... A few years later, I experienced a similar sense of awe when I attended the theatrical release of Ghost in the Shell. That's when I understood that the Net was vast and infinite...

A life-changing relocation to Japan

​In 2006, I made a bold decision to leave Paris and move to Japan, seeking spiritual and creative change. I enrolled at the International Budo University to study martial arts, originally intending to stay for just a year. My one-year plan finally evolved into a six-year journey of research and study in martial arts and Budo history.

During this time however, a head trauma led to the development of strong tinnitus, forcing me to take a break from my musical activities. I was initially heartbroken, but I knew I had to continue with some form of art. My friends suggested I try fine arts, but I wasn’t convinced at first. Drawing and painting had never been my strengths. After many months of doubt, I finally started painting. As a beginner, I needed to find a style that worked for me. I decided to focus on two things I loved from my childhood – mythologies and mazes. After years of practice, I developed my first big series of artworks called Derelict/Black. It is an interesting blend of labyrinths and post-apocalyptic bird's-eye views of big cities like New York or Paris. You can have a look THERE.

Adversity and artistic reinvention

Despite finding fulfilment in my new artistic pursuits, I achieved only modest success and began to feel somewhat stuck in Japan. Craving a change of scenery, I took a two-year break and moved to Taipei. In this new environment, I shifted my focus back to music while continuing to work on my painting, leaving behind the constraints I felt in Japan. I also spent time teaching martial arts and collaborated on various artistic projects, forming cherished friendships in Taiwan. Unfortunately, my tinnitus persisted. I tried to explore meditation, MBSR, Zen and crystal singing bowls in order to tame it. But while these studies were interesting, they also detracted from my art... They did not improve my condition much either, so it started to feel like a dead-end.

Tokyo’s creative renaissance

Now, I am back in Tokyo and have realised that my diverse experiences could merge into something truly unique. This revelation led me to craft mixed-media art that searches for the lost essence of silence.

By fusing my love for music, art, and Japanese inspirations, I am now on a path to create an innovative and cohesive artistic expression that reflects my personal evolution and creative growth.

Art

My artistic journey began with a focus on music and composition, but it quickly evolved to encompass digital and multimedia projects. I used to blend elements of music, video, dance, and real-time processing using tools such as Max-MSP and Jitter. I participated in various projects in Paris, including at Theatre du Chatellet and Palais de Tokyo, where dancers controlled live music and generative videos through their movements. These experiences showed me the potential of merging various media to create something truly unique and dynamic.

I have a fascination for mazes and labyrinths that dates back to my childhood in Vaison-la-Romaine. It is a small town in the south of France known for its rich history and cultural heritage. There is a major Roman ruins excavation, complete with an amphitheater and many artefacts in the town's museum. There is also a medieval town up the hill with a very old cathedral and a castle.

Labyrinths were an important part of ancient Roman art. Some mosaics depicted squared corridors leading to a scene in which Theseus would fight the Minotaur. Similarly, many medieval cathedrals in France had labyrinth-like pavements, the most famous of which was in Chartres. Sadly, no labyrinth mosaics or pavements have been discovered in Vaison so far, but the Roman heritage and old mythologies were taught in school, which I believe piqued my interest in mazes.

Baptiste tavernier's labyrinthine geometric abstraction art

Crepuscule. Acrylic on board. 90 x 90cm. 2015.

I began to explore the symbolism and meaning behind labyrinths. My early works were primarily geometric abstractions, but as I delved deeper, I began to incorporate elements of cartography and imagery of urban chaos. This led to the creation of my first major series, Derelict/Black, which features bird’s-eye views of famous metropoles transformed into surreal, dystopian mazes.

dystopian maze art by baptiste tavernier

Derelict/Black. Acrylic, ink on canvas, 70 x 100 cm. 2018.

After spending years focusing on mazes, I felt a pull to branch out and try something new. That’s when I discovered the world of instant photography, specifically using Polaroid and Instax cameras. I had already begun to experiment with different concepts, such as Japanese Zen gardens. The lines and circles of the Zen gardens inspired me to create intricate and unknown architectures that looked like alien cities.

All I had to do then was to use polaroid films as my canvas! I began to draw these alien structures on the pictures, creating a mesmerising alternate reality that seemed to materialise out of thin air and intersect with our own world. This experimentation resulted in the creation of my Instant X series.

Polaroid of an abandoned water slide, edited with posca by baptiste tavernier

Instant X. Posca on Instax Square. 2020

With a desire to push the boundaries further, I have recently begun delving into the realm of additive manufacturing technologies. MY mixed-media artworks blend widely different elements such as 3D textured panels, natural stones, plastic toys and acrylic paint. It is the culmination of my various interests and experiences so far, and a new chapter in my life.

A mixed media sci-fi artwork by baptiste tavernier

Untitled – PLA, Acrylic, epoxy, plastic toy. 99 x 69 x 8 cm, 2023.

Music

In addition to being a visual artist, I’m also a musician and composer. When I’m not creating new artworks, I spend my time patching my modular synthesizer or playing percussions. I started learning music when I was four years old, and I’ve explored a variety of instruments and styles over the years.

In France, I was actively involved in the jazz scene, playing steeldrum and leading my own bigband. I also worked on several projects with Max-MSP/Jitter, which were related to my research at Paris University.

Currently, I’m creating sound architectures with modular synths. My goal is merge my mixed media works with my own music in the near future. So stay tuned!

baptiste tavernier playing crystal bowls on a beach in Japan

Martial arts

Looking back, I have been practicing martial arts for nearly as long as I have been playing music. I got my start in judo at a young age in France, but eventually moved on to specializing in Japanese weapons systems.

What I have studied so far:

Martial arts projects

As chairman of the international division of the All Japan Jukendo Federation, I am dedicated to spreading the art of jukendo and tankendo outside Japan. I am also privileged to teach both styles at the International Budo University.

I have made several appearances on NHK’s TV show Sports Japan, to introduce the history and many aspects of different weapon-based Japanese martial arts.

Additionally, I have written several books and many articles on the topic, published in university journals and magazines such as Kendo World, Ken no Kokoro, Yashima, Kendo Magazine, etc.