Born in the summer of 1991, Jihane Sy is a 30 years old multi hyphenate and self taught portrait painter with a rich ethnic background and countless stories to tell. Marked by a couple of interludes spent living abroad - in boarding schools - at the peak of the Ivorian civil war, her childhood was mostly characterized by the balmy tropical climate found in the western part of Africa, where folks make a habit of dancing away their sorrow and genuine smiles are freely dispensed. Despite a handful of disorienting episodes starring armed men, military tanks, curfews, and latent political instability, growing up in Africa was dully tranquil. Perhaps too much of a sheltering hub for her liking; there had to be more...
The remarkable cultural diversity and elaborate formal education she was subjected to as a schoolgirl provided a sort of microcosmic view of a fantasy life across borders. From a very young age, she was set on sailing far away one day, on her own, to discover new lands. For safety reasons, she had been sent away and later brought back to the nest during her formative years. She was accustomed to adapting to new environments, both welcoming and hostile ones. Still, nothing could have prepared her for the culture shock she would later experience in LA. By now she has claimed three continents as her home, having spent significant time in Abidjan and Dakar, Paris and Bordeaux, and LA - where she is settled.
Jihane originally relocated to Southern California with the aim to pursue her academic career, majoring in Business Administration with a specialization in Law. Although the grand plan was to eventually attend Law School, somewhere along the way new doors opened up, calling on her to further explore and nurture her long standing love and interest for the arts. As a child, she used to draw, paint, and create detailed floor plans for houses and hotels she'd hope to build. From music and fashion, to architecture and interior design, the greatest fulfillment was always found in studying and exploring creative dimensions, attempting to better grasp the depth and aesthetic of various outlets and mediums.
After a stint in fashion, with modeling and wardrobe styling in focus, it is location hosting, property staging, furniture restoration and furniture dealing that have captured her heart. She finds thrill in sourcing furniture, buying and selling second hand gems which would often be discarded otherwise. Shaping up homes and contributing to their identity equates to absolute joy for the young creative. Breathing life into an outdated space or an old piece of furniture is indeed the sort of transmutation she lives for, as well as an excellent metaphor for the way she perceives her own ever evolving existence in a city where reinvention is standard practice and mouthful of dreams are waiting to be spoken.
For more information on Jihane's life and work feel free to get in touch.