The VIVIALYS head office in Strasbourg: making an exhibition of itself
ARTMUR, a concrete example of artistic and citizen-led patronage.
The Vivialys Group is the leading Alsatian housing company and the owner of the iconic building in rue de Molsheim near the Laiterie concert venue in Strasbourg. The building offers a vast façade, clearly visible from the motorway, and the company has opted to make it into a permanent and frequently changing medium for artworks.
The work currently gracing the building is a monumental piece of art by Sophie Hoang Trong.
The company’s intention is to introduce a new artwork once or twice a year, offering an opportunity for fresh artistic expression, sponsored by the group.
An iconic building of the 1990s
The building, which dates back to 1991, was originally designed to house the Anstett advertising agency and it changed hands several times until 2009, when its façade was changed into Strasbourg’s first vertical garden, designed by Patrick Blanc, the world-renowned inventor of the concept.
In 2018, the vertical garden reached the end of its life-cycle and the Vivialys Group, instead of installing a new one or opting for a more conventional brand message, decided to turn the façade into a giant exhibition area, representing both the company’s core values and a tribute to artistic creation.
Arbres à Cœurs (trees with hearts), the first featured artwork,
French artist Sophie Hoang Trong was chosen for the first featured artwork, Arbres à Cœurs. The painting is based on a series of linocuts representing the changes taking place in fruit trees – trees with flowers, carnivore trees and trees with hearts. An artistic rendering of a tree, a living space where social, family, friendship and love-filled bonds grow, become richer and stronger and entangle like branches reflecting our own sinuous paths. The fruit of these bonds, the core of the relationship, slowly ripens to become the regulator of a rich, passionate and sometimes joyful life.
Committed to artistic expression
As a housing company committed to artistic expression through its Trianon Résidences subsidiary and a major sponsor of the Magnificent Industry outdoor art exhibition in 2018 and 2020, the Vivialys Group has decided to make the façade of its head office into a permanent area for the exhibition of temporary artworks. The artworks will change once or twice a year, depending on the cultural environment.
The Vivialys Group is looking to working closely with other regional institutions and stakeholders to make its art wall an exhibition AREA and TIME devoted to local artistic creation, tying in with the prevailing cultural scene in the city and its surroundings. Vivialys considers art to be an essential and noble part of our human heritage, a key part of our culture which represents both a unique creative act and a way of uniting people around the world. With the identity challenges and community-based conflicts which are creating turmoil in our lives, art offers a way through the violence, the general acts of stupidity and the temptations of sealing ourselves off from whole thing.
These are some of the many reasons why the Vivialys Group takes great pride in announcing the launch of its ARTMUR patronage initiative.
About the artist Sophie Hoang Trong
Sophie Hoang Trong lives in Lyon, but was born in Strasbourg in 1965. Her Vietnamese background allowed her to grow up in the “enchanted world” of a distant country, but then circumstances demanded that she turn towards a different life and it was only when she moved to Lyon that she gave up working in business to follow her lifelong passion. The contradiction between the environment in which she was brought up and the experience she acquired over time led to this change in lifestyle, whence the start of her creative career.
Free at last from the perpetual search for her roots and her identity, her paintings, drawings and etchings express an inner calm and her newly found balance and reassurance.