Get to know Master fan maker, Sylvain Le Guen


Street Fans is a project which aims to reinvigorate the craft of fan making by exploring ways in which form and function can be stretched, shaped and reimagined to suit contemporary tastes.

Sylvain Le Guen has forged a career creating contemporary fans which make full use of the tactile possibilities of both traditional and modern materials. He explained that the “fan is an object rooted in past times: by linking it to the energetic, expressive modes of street art, we are making it an artwork of the 21st century.”

The collaboration will result in the creation of 60 contemporary fans, each exhibiting the fluid possibilities inherent in this timeless accessory. Le Guen said: “All the artworks presented are original and new. Because they [the artists] are from such different backgrounds and styles, I had great pleasure in reinterpreting the artworks and inventing new ways of mounting fans.”

The merging of mediums between artist and fan-maker is a challenging and rewarding process and one which Le Guen has previously been drawn to. We asked if there were any special challenges or approaches involved in this fusion, and what might draw the eye.

“Because of its technical restrictions and mechanical aspect, transforming a 2D design into 3D, with pleats changing the dynamics and strengthening the lines of the original composition, the fan brings a new sense of perspective, a viewpoint that constantly changes from one angle to the other. The radiance, just like sun rays, also allows artists to develop designs where the elements are organised like on a wheel; some can play with the mountain and valley pleats, use the angles to mark separation, while others prefer putting an emphasis on the semi-circle with rainbow-like designs.”

We passionately believe that fan-making deserves its place on the UK’s cultural map, and need your help to make this multidimensional project a reality.

Back to top
One moment please