5 Good Things - Grègór Belibi Minya - Lyon, France

5 Good Things - Grègór Belibi Minya - Lyon, France

The term "artist" shouldn't be narrowly defined by a single medium or discipline. 


Art should be a melting pot where diverse ideas come together, celebrating creativity without restricting it to labels like painter, musician, or sculptor.

Technological advancements have made it easier for artists to combine different disciplines of artistic expression into one single piece.

From mixing paints on a palette to manipulating digital sounds in a studio, artists today have a vast array of tools at their disposal to aid them with their creative vision.

For this edition of Five Good Things, we’re in the south of France, visiting the studio of painter and composer Grègór Belibi Minya.

Grègór's artwork seamlessly blends audio and visuals to create a full immersive experience.

Nestled in a small mountain town near Lyon bordering Switzerland, we paid Grègór a visit for the latest edition of Five Good Things.

Firstly, Grègór, thank you for joining us. Please could you introduce yourself and give us a snapshot of who you are and what you do?

My name is Grègór Belibi Minya; I am French of Cameroonian and Hungarian origin. I currently live in France, near Switzerland, with my partner and my daughter.

I am an artist dealing with the human condition. My work revolves around non-figurative painting and contemporary music.

Can you walk us through your creative process when conceptualizing and producing a piece that integrates both music and painting?

I always start by engaging in an experiment that will allow me to define my current research topic.

I create the conditions that will allow me to live and feel in the depths of my being and thus to influence what I call 'a dynamic of the depths'. This can be during a trip, a stay, or an experience in a place.

After which, all that remains is an intuition—something invisible that leaves a trace and that I feel within me.

I then try to capture the contours of the music and the painting. Music allows me to feel the vibrational space that surrounds this presence. Painting allows me to define the form of this presence.

I improvise melodies on the piano, looking for sounds and colours. I draw in large quantities on A3 sheets. I obtain concretions made of signs, symbols, and gestures.

I bring together these sound and pictorial materials in successive layers around this core.

Then, I try to put into words how this experience resonated with me. I try to refocus the work on this presence, which has become form and concentrate on larger formats in painting.

When I feel ready, it's because I have enough space and elements to explain and discuss it. I invite certain people to my workshop or via video to get their opinions and feelings.

The creative process stops when I take my works out of the workshop and studio to exhibit them in a gallery or elsewhere.

Does where you live and your surroundings influence the themes and aesthetics of your artwork?

Absolutely! I have always favoured spacious and quiet places to encourage this inner work. I also suffer from attention deficit disorder, so I work more easily in quiet spaces and alone. With my wife and our little daughter, we live in Ain. It is a region of small mountains, lakes, waterfalls, and caves. The air is good, and we can eat healthily and locally. I use these natural places as cathartic spaces to deepen my thoughts.

The mountain region you live in must play an important role in inspiring your work. What drew you to live there?

I like the idea of living close to nature. It plays a role in structuring thought and shaping types of behaviour. We live almost under a mountain, near a waterfall and a cave. I go to these spaces regularly and observe, day after day, month after month, how I transform through contact with these places. We are also close to cities like Geneva and Lyon.

It's fascinating how those surroundings can influence your thoughts and behaviour. The proximity to natural wonders like the waterfall and cave must offer you a unique perspective. Being near cities like Geneva and Lyon also provides a great balance of urban and natural environments. Do you have any hobbies you enjoy in these areas, whether they're related to nature or the city?

I like taking care of my daughter, going for walks in the forest with her, and seeing those eyes observing the world for the first time. With my wife, we also practise climbing just behind our house. I have a clear preference for bouldering outdoors and barefoot. Apart from that, I read a lot and I like going to the cinema.

What role does technology play in helping you bring together different artistic mediums?

Like a binder, I use technology to bring together painting and music in an audio-visual form. It allows me to combine two approaches. It is also important to know its limits.

What came first for you, producing your own music or painting?

The drawing. When I was little, I drew imaginary spaces and Dragon Balls. As I grew up, drawing became a refuge—a space of calm. Then, in high school, I started making electronic music on Ableton Live 8. Fine Arts school came later. I was almost 30 when I finished school.

Today, I take composition and contemporary music classes at the conservatory in order to deepen my musical and acoustic approach.

I am always inspired and motivated to create. I take care of my inner fire, which fuels my entire system. My exhibitions help me move forward. There are certain exchanges with the public and collectors that are important. Some people around me also give me energy through discussions at the workshop. Museums and the work of other artists will and will continue to mainly inspire me.

It's wonderful to hear how you nurture your creative spirit and find motivation through your work and interactions with others. It's important to keep that inner fire burning. I'm interested to know more about your current projects and the focus of your recent work. What are you working on at the moment?

For several months, I have been working on intimate spaces, through 'the poetics of space' by Gaston Bachelard. The house, the cave, the garden or even the forest are real but also psychological spaces. Psychic by the concretion of all the houses, all the caves, all the gardens, and all the forests that I have lived in or visited. All of this continues to live within us, but in unconscious and dreamlike spaces. I am in the process of finalising paintings and sound pieces on this subject.

Have you got any exhibitions coming up?

I have a solo exhibition at the Galerie Valérie Eymeric in Lyon, France, in the autumn, and another at the Galerie Robertson in Canada at the end of the year.

Are there any exhibitions you’re visiting?

This year, we went to see Rothko's works at the Louis Vuitton Foundation. We also visited some foundations in Switzerland, notably that of Paul Klee.

Currently, there is an exhibition of Miró's works at the Grenoble museum.

Rothko, Klee, and Miró are all such incredible artists. Each of them brings a unique perspective to their work. Are there any influences or interests outside of the art world that inspire your work?

Yes, of course! I study contemporary music a lot. I am also interested in psychology and psychoanalysis. Contemporary dance is a neighbouring world that also inspires me enormously.

Now, let's discuss Five Good Things.

Grègór suggests five must-see places in and around his city, Lyon, and shares a couple of his current favourites.

A piece of music that inspires you?

'Intérieur 1' by Helmut Lachenmann and movements 3 and 4 of the piece 'Rothko Chapel' by Morton Feldman.

Best place to eat where you live?

'La ferme Guichard' or 'O saison du Grand Colombier'.

A film you would recommend?

'The Mirror' by Tarkovsky and, recently, 'Perfect Days' by Wim Wenders.

Favourite local place to relax or find inspiration?

The mountain right behind our house.

Le bar de la place in Virieu-le-Grand.

Favourite annual event or festival where you live?

The big V (organised by 'La Prefe').

Thank you to Grègór for joining us in this edition of Five Good Things. If you're inspired by his words, you can find links to all his work and more over on his Instagram account @gregor.belibi.minya