The French Girl Tells Her Viral Shining Heart Art Story
Hong Kong/ Digital/ Metaverse

The French Girl, Artist Caroline Tronel, Tells Her Digital Heart Art Story

In partnership with:

The French Girl Artist Caroline Tronel Tells Her Digital Heart Art Story

“The French Girl”, as corporate worker-turned-artist Caroline Tronel shared, was a “total COVID project.”

Take a walk through Hong Kong streets, and you may have seen Caroline’s The French Girl project plastered across walls, abandoned shopfronts and signs in stickers, graffiti and posters featuring her signature square-shaped yellow heart creation.

Pre-pandemic, Paris-raised Caroline headed the Asia subsidiary for a French perfume brand, travelling weekly across the region.

“I loved my job. I was passionate about perfumes, meeting with people from all over Asia, sharing and learning about local cultural habits and traditions. Perfume is often about seduction and always about human interactions”, Caroline told The Beat Asia.

When COVID struck in March 2020, Caroline was left online working with clients abroad through Zoom and struggling with a creative output.

Stuck in her apartment located on the 5th floor of a traditional walk-up building in Sheung Wan, whilst Hong Kong was gripped with the virus, Caroline unleashed her creative juices with a blitz-painting of her rooftop – and started by painting a swimming pool on the floor.

“Passionate about street art since childhood, I had no prior experience in painting myself, but I wanted to bring life to my home. I used the floor and the walls of my rooftop as a playground, experimenting with a spray can, and different acrylic, colours, and textures.”

“Once the rooftop all covered, I looked for new mediums. On the street, I found a couple spare concrete tiles in a landfill, brought them back home and started spraying on them. One day in November 2020, a friend offered to purchase one tile for HK$2,000, it was crazy!”

Three days later, the new-born artist quit her job to dedicated full time to her new passion.

The idea for The Shining Heart was created by Caroline as a need to distinguish herself from other artists.

“After reading so much about major street artists, I realised that they all have a signature symbol or very recognisable style. Therefore, I needed one!”

“When I arrived in Hong Kong in 2015, I rapidly spotted the Chinese double happiness symbol 囍, widely used in the city to celebrate weddings and representing two people holding hands. I twisted the traditional symbol by merging the two characters together and show a conjoined heart, like two connected souls”.

The artist then coloured the shape in yellow and added sparks around to symbolise the energy coming out from two people connecting, a throbbing heartbeat on Hong Kong’s streets. “Yellow is a colour that will naturally increase your blood pressure, it draws attention!”

As physical art caught her eye, the French artist sought to explore digital art and NFTs with her invitation to Digital Art Fair in 2021 to bring her uniquely hand-crafted art to the screen.

To create her NFT artworks, Caroline focused on the texture of her art, using acrylic paint on canvases to create a dynamism in the contrasting colours of the heart and background, turning the traditional art medium to digital.

In a major success, Caroline’s NFT collection previewed at K11 Musea’s Metavision exhibition in May 2022, and the artist held a solo exhibition on the 5th floor of K11 Musea in June 2022.

Caroline’s ingenious design of The Shining Heart has allowed her to collaborate with international brands. First, with Casetify to introduce in December 2022 her Shining Heart to a series of iPhone, iPad and Mac cases, designing three different collections: ICONIC, RAINBOW & FRENCH LOVER.

With Moleskin, the French art worked with the brand to introduce a partnered yellow heart and red skin colourway for quality notebooks selling out in Chinese New Year 2023.

In July, Caroline will bring her iconic yellow heart shape to another form, collaborating with local Hong Kong brand Kibo to create sustainable shoes made from apple-waste-produced leather.

With her success as an up-and-coming artist in the city, Caroline is thankful for the opportunities Hong Kong has provided her in the art world.

“Hong Kong truly is an art hub. The access to art we have here is endless. We just had Art Basel, Art Central last March, Affordable Art Fair is coming in May, we can visit Sotheby's or Christie's auctions exhibitions every season, we have crazy tons of galleries that I don't even have time to go to!”

“And on top of that, Hong Kong is such a dynamic city, decisions are taken fast, you just need to create your own opportunities.”

Get the latest curated content with The Beat Asia's newsletters. Sign up now for a weekly dose of the best stories, events, and deals delivered straight to your inbox. Don't miss out! Click here to subscribe.

This Week's Events In Hong Kong View more

Sign up to receive updates on what's going on in the city. Don't miss out on exciting events, news, and more. Sign up today!

By submitting your email, you agree to our Terms and Privacy Notice
Thank you for subscribing! Click here if you were not redirected.