“Develter’s sense of the beautiful and the individual strength and spirit of his protagonists with his close-up narrative is developed through careful consideration of line, lighting and geometry as well as his perspicacious awareness of the power of color to reveal that which is behind the surface of each character. At the heart of these works is a search not just for physical beauty but also for something of the spirit that embraces and motivates each one in our era of hyper celebrity.”
Christian Develter (b. 1968, Belgium) uses his canvas to portray his rich experiences of peoples and cultures from around the world. A highly versatile artist whose work constantly pushes boundaries, Develter believes that desspite cultural differences and starkly different socio-realities, there are moments that can be appreciated by everyone – these moments pull the trigger of his inspiration. He has resided and worked in Asia since the 90s and currently lives in Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Develter’s ‘Chin Series’
In 2012, Develter travelled extensively through the northwestern area of Myanmar and visited the indigenous tribes of that region. The inspiration for his latest series of works comes from the intricately tattooed faces of the Chin women.
The Chin tribe and their tattoos are relatively unknown to the outside world. Located in northwestern Myanmar (Chin and Rakhine States), the different tribes use tattoo marks to distinguish one hill tribe from another, or to indicate marital status and social rank. Together with the Derung tribe in southwest China’s Yunnan province, (both sharing the same Indo-Tibetan lineage) they are the only tribes known to adhere to this practice. The multiplex patterns are carved into the skin by thorns using a mixture of sap from a local plant (sourced in the jungle for the color), ash and chicken blood or buffalo kidney. According to legend, the ornate tattoos were originally done so that Burmese Kings would not be able to steal Chin women as wives. Over time, the tattoos have evolved to become symbols of strength and beauty: reflecting nature – especially the animal and plant Kingdom – and the animist beliefs of the tribe.
For generations, women have been willing to submit themselves to the pain of this art for the beauty it represents to them and to their tribe. Deep in the unforgiving hills and jungle of the Chin state, and despite being forbidden by the government, tattoos continue to be carved on faces of young girls coming to age. With the opening of Myanmar’s borders, these women may soon come to represent the last of their kind.
The paintings of the Chin series aim to be an amalgamation between the modern and the past – displaying the perfectly symmetrical contemporary urban faces of Asian women painted with the painstakingly intricate Chin tribal tattoo designs of Myanmar. Develter’s critically well-received “Chin Urban & Tribal” is an invitation to explore the artist’s contemporary narrative of evolving cultures.
2017: “Christian Develter loves The Aviary” The Aviary, Siem Reap, Cambodia
2017: “Chinese New Year Exhibition” Hotel Viroth, Siem Reap, Cambodia
2016: “Christian Develter at La Residence D’ Angkor Belmond“ Siem Reap, Cambodia
2016: “Budweiser China , Develter Masks and Phone Covers” Shanghai Art and Design Center, China 2015 “Grand Opening DEVELTER + WA Gallery Siem Reap” Cambodia
2014 “Christian Develter at Mee” Copacabana Hotel, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
2014 “Christian Develter” Washington DC, Artist Proof , USA
2013 “Chin , Urban & Tribal” Siem Reap, FCC, Cambodia
2012 “Chin , Urban & Tribal” Bangkok, Warp Studio 54, Thailand
2012 “Chinese New Year Trisara” Phuket, Thailand
2011 “Develter and Woulfe Studio” Phuket, Thailand
2011 “Art Diner @ Andara” Phuket, Thailand
2011 “Glow” Metropolitan Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
2010 “European Union Film Festival” Bangkok Art and Culture Center, Thailand
2009 “Chasing the Dragon” Chinese House, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
2009 “Printemps” D’Sens, Dusit Thani, Bangkok, Thailand
2009 “The Mikado (Unleashed)” British Club, Bangkok, Thailand
2008 “Color Notions, paintings and lithographs by Christian Develter” V9, Sofitel, Bangkok, Thailand 2007 “Asian Chic , 10 Year Anniversary Pacific Cigar ” China House, Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand 2007 “Club Divas and Femme Fatales” V9, Sofitel, Bangkok, Thailand
2007 “Khmer Feminitude, Paintings by Christian Develter” Hotel De La Paix, Siem Reap, Cambodia 2006 “Senses of Asia” Chiva Som Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
2006 “Japanese Paintings by Christian Develter at Tsu ” JW Marriott, Bangkok, Thailand
2005 “Daughters of the Dragon” La Luna Gallery, Chiang Mai, Thailand
2005 “Christian Develter Revealed”Chiva Som Resort, Hua Hin, Thailand
2005 “Christian Develter meets the Met” Metropolitan Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand
2003 “The Colors of Life by Christian Develter” Schoeni / Lotus Arts de Vivre, Bangkok, Thailand 2003 “Shan by Christian Develter” The Peak Look Out , Hong Kong, China
2002 “Permanent Exposure Christian Develter” Q Bar, Bangkok, Thailand
2002 “Impressies uit het Verre Oosten” Porters House, Antwerp, Belgium
2001 “Introducing Christian Develter” Wilkhahn, Antwerp, Belgium
1999 “Christian Develter” + Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium
1998 “Indian Summer” The Hutheesing Haveli, Ahmedabad, India
1996 “Visit to China by Christian Develter“ Oriental House, Antwerp, Belgium
1994 “Christian Develter in Flinckenheuvel”, Antwerp, Belgium
2016 “Belgian Week Hong Kong” Art One Gallery, Hong Kong
2016 “Aenea & Develter” Phuket, Andara Hotel, Thailand
2015 “Launch Lithograph Chin series by The Frame Society” AAF, Singapore
2014 “Creation, Auction by Lionel Gosset Christies Paris – Phnom Penh” Phnom Penh , Cambodia
2014 “Chin, Urban & Tribal” Bangkok, Mandarin Oriental POP UP , Thailand
2013 “Christian Develter “ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Union of Myanmar, Nay Pyi Daw, Myanmar
2013 “Wallpaper * Handmade” Siam Center, Bangkok, Thailand.
2013 “Three Colors of Belgium” BACC, presided over by Her Royal Highness Queen Mathilde of Belgium, Duchess of Brabant, Countess d’Udekem d’Acoz, Bangkok, Thailand
2011 “Phuket Art Festival Royal Phuket Marina” Phuket, Thailand
2010 “The Roaring Twenties” Australian Chamber of Commerce, Ho Chi Minh , Vietnam.
2007 “Dialogue, Celebrating 120 Years of Diplomatic Relations Thailand and Japan” La Luna, Chiang Mai, Thailand 2007 “Girls!” Grusenmeyer Gallery, Bangkok, Thailand
2005 “Bulgari, Auction by Christie’s” Sovereign Art Foundation, Hong Kong
2005 “Hans Christian Andersen ” La Luna, Chiang Mai, Thailand
2004 “Art , Celebrating 100 years Diplomatic Relations“ Belgian Embassy, Siam Society, Bangkok, Thailand
2002 “Carnival of Art” The Sukhothai Hotel / Café Deco Hong Kong , Bangkok, Thailand
2000 “Linart 2000” + Gallery, Ghent, Belgium
1995 “Tollart 1995” Tollhuis, Antwerp, Belgium
AVAILABLE PAINTINGS & LITHOGRAPHS
… for what is admirable in Christian Develter, beyond the choice of his subjects, is precisely that stubbornness, which characterizes him, to be adamant in that hyper-finished, almost exaggerated style, specific to the make-up of dramatic stage and, of cinema as we know it between the nineteen thirties and the Nouvelle Vague…
– Excerpt from “Christian Develter : Dream in Colour” by Chao Sanya Souvanna Phouma