Arbre, de Mylinh Nguyen et Pablo Salaün
Visual arts

2 min

Arbre (Tree), by Mylinh Nguyen et Pablo Salaün

A sound installation presented at the 2019 Kyoto White Night, Arbre brings together the talents of two artists, Mylinh Nguyen in sculpture and Pablo Salaün in sound. A nomadic and interactive work that feeds on the words of its visitors.

© DR

Sound and shape

After a first sound performance, Mousse, presented at the L’art est dans les bois (Art Is In The Woods) festival in Côtes d’Armor in 2017, Pablo Salaün and Mylinh Nguyen will get together again this year for a new collaboration.


Born in 1982 in Brittany, Mylinh Nguyen is a graduate of both the École Nationale Supérieure des Arts Appliées et des Métiers d’Art (National Higher College of Applied Arts and Arts and Crafts), and the École Duperré (The Duperré School of Applied Arts). Passionate about materials, the sculptor works with copper, brass and bronze using techniques linked to industry, which she uses to make her creations.


Pablo Salaün, meanwhile, comes from a technical background. With a degree in physics, he later obtained a master's in image and sound before becoming a chief audio operator.


Together, the two artists create sculpted and sonorous creations, suspended white orbs for Mousse or “mouth fruits ” with Arbre.



A forest of voices

Presented at the 2019 White Night at the Kansai Institut français, Arbre presents itself as “a noisy and whispering arbre structure”. A conglomeration of sculptures shaped like fruit, works of sound with a mouth and… an ear!


Made of white resin, the work is organised into a collection of one hundred immaculate fruits. The artists have inserted some 40 speakers inside these suspended spherical structures that reproduce words and memories in a forest of sounds. “Deposits of sound accumulate and make up a sound source in all languages and all places where the sculpture will be exhibited."


An interactive work of art

In the exhibition room, visitors are invited to walk around as they listen. As they move around, they listen to stories previously submitted by a visitor, and in turn leave a message in the only structure that has a microphone and is represented by an ear.


Arbre is enriched with visits, becoming “a machine that feeds on the interest it generates”. A multilingual work that tells the story of the territory in which it is embedded. The installation was created in partnership with sculptor Ko Yamazaki in Japan, where it is displayed.


From Brittany to Japan

First exhibited in a reduced form in 2016 at the Le Cap de Plérin art centre in Brittany, Arbre has been exhibited in 2019 in Brest, at the Kansai Institut français during the White Night of 5 October, then at the Seikado gallery at Kyoto.


The installation was created in partnership with the sculptor Ko Yamazaki in Japan. He provided translation in Japanese and link to the gallery on site.

The Institut français and the project

In 2015, Mylinh Nguyen was selected to spend time at the Villa Kujoyama, a residency for artists in Japan supported by the Institut français.


Arbre itself was also supported by the Institut français in partnership with Région Bretagne.


The Institut français partners with 21 local authorities to develop international artistic exchanges. Find out more about project assistance programmes in partnership with local authorities