Bienvenue Studios turns nature into visual culture. We translate natural structures into handmade, graphical editions. As graphic designers, we tackle the visual appearance of nature that has not gotten much attention thus far. First, we look at how it came about and what it means culturally. In a second step, we turn the results of our research into a narrative visual form. Egyptian talismans are put in focus as much as the beak’s shape of the Galapagos finches, morbid aesthetic in China or stone gardens in Japan.

For example, we came across stones on the beach of Bolinas (Bay Area, California), that feature remarkably perfect cavities, as if a jeweller had spent hours drilling them. We learned that the rocks have been perforated by invertebrates, such as mussels. In an early development phase, they bore holes into stones and grow up in them. We have noticed how light and fragile the rocks are. That lightness has inspired us in our graphical interpretation. We documented the stones and graphically staged them in a way to appear as if they were floating over the paper. Along with the prints, we provide the results of our research.

Even though we handle various topics and apply different methods, the results always make the same impression: we would describe it as calm, poetic and lightly surreal. We are interested in what surprises us and investigate those phenomena as designers. Nature is full of surprising phenomena. But many people do not always have the readiness or time to be surprised. We want to bring more visibility to what surprises us using graphic methods. Our work is available in booklets, journals, cards and as prints in limited edition.

The eagerness to experiment and precise craftsmanship set our work apart. In a time consuming process, we handcraft our products with the utmost care by pushing the boundaries of risography. This Japanese form of screen-printing allows us to apply each colour individually and ensures a high luminosity. Thanks to this special process, each print is one of a kind. A lot of passion goes into it, but no chemicals. The output is therefore not only the result of careful craftsmanship, but is also environmentally sustainable.

Xiaoqun Wu and Oliver Hischier, a graphic design duo from Zurich, have founded Bienvenue Studios in 2012. Their different geographical background, Asia and Europe, gives them a different take on the world. Working along leads to passionate discussions. The aspiration and curiosity of searching for unknown phenomena in culture and nature brings them together.



SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2018
— Pon Ding Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan
— FEINFRACHT Pop-up Gallery, Bern, Switzerland
2017
— Book/Shop, Oakland CA, USA
2015
— Quan Er, Shanghai, China



WORKSHOPS

2018
— Zurich University of the Arts, Zurich, Switzerland
2017
— Book/Shop, Oakland CA, USA