Artist in Focus: Jacinthe Lamontagne

Hi Jacinthe, it’s a pleasure to meet you! I am really intrigued about your concept of Her, She & Us. Could you explain a bit more about the idea behind your collection?

HER SHE US ♀ is an exhibition about women, particularly Asian women from five different nationalities. The idea started with THAI ME UP exhibition created for Isaan of the Grand Hyatt Doha.

I wanted to show a different facet of Isaan’s female staff. I discovered fantastic, caring, humble, open-heart, wonderful women. I was touched by their testimony.

I didn’t really know these women except for what I saw each time I was dining at Isaan. So, to be able to create and find ideas, I had to impregnate myself of what they were really like in life, after work. It took hours of Facebook and Instagram searching of each profile, pictures, stories. It was important to find poses that corresponded as much as possible to their personality in order to respect the truth, to show who they really were.

And what about after THAI ME UP? I wanted more stories to listen to and do so much more.  HER SHE US ♀ was on its way with few more employees from the Grand Hyatt, from Qatar Airways, my Japanese muse Shoko and Sonja Park, a well-known international pianist.

Sonja and her husband have created a foundation in Doha to help young artists to develop their passion for music: Moving Young Artists – MYA. Part of the sale of Sonja’s painting will go to her foundation.

HER SHE US ♀ is a tribute to women in honor of International Women’s day for Women’s Rights during the International Women’s Month.

Can you tell us a little about your journey as an artist? When did you first discover your love for it?

First of all, I simply don’t qualify myself as an artist. I am a woman who does things with the photographs that I take and with multiple media on canvases.

I used to do clay a few years back. But the material we had versus the difficulties of getting our clay orders made me think of doing something else. And this is what I do today, photo transfer on canvas.

I have been traveling a lot in my 15 years in Qatar. And my passion for Asia is growing more and more at each new adventure. And during my travels, I take a lot of pictures, especially of people. And I wanted to share those beautiful faces with everyone. The idea of photo transfer with mixed media just came along.

When I take pictures of someone during my trips, normally stolen pictures, I remember the smell, the colors, and the noises that were around us when I clicked. So, when the moment comes and it is time to start to create with that photo, all memories are resurfacing. It is more difficult when you have to create an atmosphere for a photo-shoot. When you ask your model to pose like for HER SHE US ♀.

Doing a solo- exhibition like this one is a lot of work. 22 paintings. I had to say “no sorry, another time” to a lot of activities and invitations. I became a hermit. It was everyday work. Inspiration isn’t something that you order and it comes immediately. I had to start a dialogue with my subject first. That is the reason I start with the eyes every time I start a new project. And when communication is engaged, I can start to work. Then I am in a kind of trance and nothing else matters for a while. And sometimes I cannot even remember when I had this or that idea or even when I made that painting.

Do you have a favorite artwork? Tell us a bit about it.

My favorite piece is always the last one. And it is the painting that represents HER SHE US ♀ on all the advertisings: TRUE COLORS

A picture of Uosa! What a gorgeous and sweet girl, inside and out. So humble, a natural beauty. I cannot reveal what we talked about, what she wanted me to know about her. But I think by looking at her painting, her personality emerges.

TRUE COLORS is what Uosa is really like. She’s not fake, she is integrated, she loves the truth and this is what she seeks in life and in her relationships with others.

TRUE COLORs – There is only one real butterfly and that is the one she has chosen to look at.

How do you believe you have evolved as an artist – is there a moment which you would change in this journey?

I see a clear evolution between the paintings that I produced in 2012 and those of today. The subjects remain essentially the same, always Asia except for What Gandhi Says. I improved my techniques and I’m always looking for new ideas, new processes. Now I’m more likely to show something else than only a face on the canvas, not a message but an idea.

Working alone is not easy. We always need the eyes of others to progress. Thank God my husband is a really good critic for that matter.

What is more therapeutic and expressive for you; clay work or painting?

Definitely painting. It’s been so long since I touched clay. Last time, was in France when I did WE. A clay work representing the different type of human silhouettes expressing the different type of personalities. It was exhibited during the group exhibition of IAD, an art group I was part of.

Since the major part of my paintings are pictures, I have the feeling to always have a surprise, something new in the hands to whom I must give a new life, another sense. And working with different materials opens the possibilities to infinity. And that is rather therapeutic and expressive! It’s literally having the impression of creating something that did not exist.

Is there anything you want our readers to know?


The poet is always right – I declare with Aragon – Woman is the future of the humanity (Jean Ferrat-Aragon)

Still, a long way to go since Louis Aragon declared in 1963 that the future of the human kind is the woman. (Le Fou d’Elsa)

Throughout the dreamy, sad, sparkling look of these women, I tried to capture and unveil their inside beauty, their devotion, their purity of soul. These women working miles away from home always with a smile that is so genuine.

Their goodness, their generosity, their authenticity comforts me with the idea that this world will finally find peace when women will take over.

You inspired me so much, ladies. Please inspire the world!

HER SHE US ♀ is a beautiful lesson of humility.

HER SHE US♀ may be my last exhibition. I have put all my energy and my strength in this exhibition. I need to regain strength. I will take a little break for sure. Just after completing the 12 small sizes canvases for Voeux d’Artistes, a charitable organization that aims to improve the lives of children in oncology. I hope to be selected!

Your message for young, budding artists?

Follow your dreams and never give up!