Portrait of Ymane Chabi-Gara

Ymane Chabi-Gara

Ymane Chabi-Gara is a young French artist originally from Benin, whose work was exhibited in May 2022 at the Studio des Acacias for the first group show of Reiffers Art Initiatives, entitled “DES CORPS LIBRES – Une jeune scène frrançaise”. She is a graduate of the Beaux-Arts de Paris and winner of the second edition of the Sisley – Beaux-Arts de Paris prize for young creation. Ymane Chabi-Gara’s artistic approach focuses on the representation of the body, particularly in her paintings representing hikikomoris, named after young Japanese people suffering from social phobia. This is one of his favorite themes.

"Hikikomori 3"

Ymane Chabi-Gara, 2020

"Hikikomori 1"

Ymane Chabi-Gara, 2020

Exhibition view "DES CORPS LIBRES - Une jeune scène française (Hikikomori 10)", Acacias Art Center, Paris

Ymane Chabi-Gara, 2022

"Hikikomori 2"

Ymane Chabi-Gara, 2020

"Hikikomori 6"

Ymane Chabi-Gara, 2020

"Hikikomori 4"

Ymane Chabi-Gara, 2020

"Hikikomori 5"

Ymane Chabi-Gara, 2020


Ymane Chabi-Gara graduated from the Beaux-Arts de Paris shortly before the first confinement.
A topicality that echoes her work, itself based on a social phenomenon born in Japan that actually crosses all our current society: a kind of social phobia called "hikikikomori", reflecting the malaise of a youth living recluse, most of the time in his room for months.
The body, always at the center of her subjects, becomes the point of convergence in which the total experience finds its meaning. The body of others but also, more recently, her own. Her stagings thus present the singularity of intimacy and solitude as both archaic and universal feelings. The artist is represented by Galerie kamel mennour, Paris.



"Ymane Chabi-Gara in residence at the Ateliers"
— Ouest France, 2021.

"Drawing from the abundance provided by the internet flow, in residence for a few weeks at the SNCF house, the artist first reproduces the images found on 120cm square plywood, with all the wealth of details provided by these microcosms in which these young people find themselves. With one detail, however, because she transposes herself in these scenes. While eliminating voyeurism, it is a way of getting involved while remaining at a distance, and which, through aesthetic work on colors and shapes, will highlight a physical and moral interiority. Without necessarily seeking to understand or to explain, the work delicately underlines a social characteristic that seems to have taken hold since the health crisis."

"Ymane Chabi-Gara, winner of the 2nd edition of the Sisley Beaux-Arts de Paris Prise for young creation"
— Beaux-Arts de Paris, 2020

"Her paintings, while being determined by a subject linked to a story, are delivered through forms and materials making an essential part of her approach. In her practice, each line, each color is thought out with extreme care. Sometimes she hesitates, this attention always allowing her to find the right resolution to the challenge facing her. Her compositions are not only images, but patterns encrusted within the picture’s surface. The set dedicated to hikikomori and these fictional self-portraits marks a step in her work, a very important one because of this series’ intensity, but other things will follow. I think that Ymane Chabi-Gara is at the beginning of a daring and sensitive work, very political, which will have to count in the coming years’ artistic landscape."