From his very childhood in the mid-1960s, growing up in Montreal’s Saint-Michel neighborhood, colors and textures are part of Alain Champagne’s life. In order to sell fruits and vegetables, he regularly accompanies his father on his rounds through the countryside, during which he stores images of sunsets, lush vegetation and the array of textures in the stalls he sees. Once back home, he spends his time drawing on any scrap of paper on which he can lay his hands, thus allowing his passion for nature to express itself fully.
Later on, Alain Champagne chooses to study architecture before turning to accounting, all the while developing his interest for watercolors, a medium for which he demonstrates a strong talent. Nature, landscapes and trees continue to be his favorite themes. He also begins to play with light in order to better convey his personal perception of his environment. His transition to photography, the next logical step after watercolors, allows him to instantly capture life’s happenstances. From the outset, he chooses to direct his work to landscape and wilderness photography. Through his works, Alain Champagne tries to bring a different perspective to bear on the world around us, to offer a personal interpretation of his own world view.
After presenting “Textures d’Islande” (November 2008), which revealed the unique character and the aesthetic beauty of Iceland’s natural fabric, and “Lumières sur la Havane” (June 2009) which showcased, in a new light, the outmoded charm of this ancient and glorious city, Alain Champagne proposes JAPONITUDE, a modern look at Japan’s traditions.
Japan Habit Attitude Zenness JAPONITUDE
JAPONITUDE, or the expression of Japan’s decision to position itself midway between unbridled westernization and a profound respect for its timeless traditions. Through his photography, Alain Champagne demonstrates the peaceful coexistence of these two deep-seated currents which form today’s Japan. JAPONITUDE bears witness to this fragile and constantly-threatened balance.
“Humility, calm, and harmony. These words alone could define Japan. My photographs reflect the essence of the unique atmosphere one finds in the country of the rising sun. It is by experiencing this JAPONITUDE that you truly feel the weight of traditions dating back millennia which form an integral part of daily life in Japan. Having explored a large portion of the country during my travels, my work bears witness to the long-established order which reigns peacefully, just as strongly in the heart of cities as in the most isolated regions. Despite the language barrier and the population density, I felt at peace, serene and zen.”
- Alain Champagne