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Kyoto, Japan

Artworks by Lucas Stoffel Fine art prints available on Etsy.


Kyoto Butterfly Garden by artist Lucas / Luke Stoffel

Kyoto Butterfly Garden at the Prince George Gallery by Lucas Stoffel


The allure of Kyoto's Gion district became a unique and mysterious fascination for me as a photographer. Gion holds fame as one of the country's oldest and most renowned geisha districts. Every evening at dusk, I would position myself on a side street, hoping to capture the mesmerizing sight of these elegant women gracefully darting about like butterflies, moving from one place to another. Patiently waiting in the shadows, I aimed to capture the beauty of their kimonos and striking faces through my camera lens.



The presence of geishas in Gion traces back to ancient times when the district flourished as an entertainment hub and a center for cultural activities. Geishas played an integral role in entertaining guests at high-class teahouses, parties, and banquets, showcasing their talents through dances, musical performances, and refined conversations, enriching the events with their artistry and grace.


Geisha's by Lucas Stoffel


This series is a direct reflection of my inspiration from those nights spent running around Gion, with my camera poised like a butterfly net. These Geisha Paintings came from those days in Kyoto.

Kyoto Butterfly Garden by artist Lucas / Luke Stoffel

Kyoto Butterfly Garden at the Prince George Gallery by Lucas Stoffel


The Kyoto Butterfly Garden and other works were on display at the Prince George Gallery in New York, 15 East 27th Street August 12th - 20th, 2023. For more information about hosting this exhibition please contact lucasstoffel@me.com




Srinagar, India

Artworks by Lucas Stoffel Fine art prints available on Etsy.

Explore the mystical realm of Hinduism: Mount Meru, abode of gods, and cosmic pivot. Pop Art by Lucas / Luke Stoffel

Mount Meru at the Prince George Gallery by Lucas Stoffel


I found myself deep in the Himalayas, in a region in North India called Kashmir. One day, with my camera in tow, we decided to venture into the streets and were taken in by some friendly locals who showed us around. Their adventures turned us down a side street where we passed through an open gate and headed under a canopy into a makeshift tent. Inside, locals had adorned the walls with hundreds of posters of Hindu gods, creating a neighborhood altar. The essence of my fascination with Hinduism started there in that tent; it became my own personal Mount Meru.


What Mount Meru means in Hinduism?

To Hindus, Mount Meru is believed to be located at the center of the cosmos and serves as the abode of gods and celestial beings. They often describe it as a vast cosmic mountain. The mountain is said to be so tall that it reaches the heavens and so deep that it extends deep into the nether world.


Hindu Gods by Lucas Stoffel


According to some legends, Mount Meru was created by the gods to serve as a pivot point, around which the sun, moon, planets, and stars revolve. It is also depicted as the dwelling place of various deities, including Lord Brahma, the creator of the universe, and other divine beings. These Hindu Paintings are a depiction of these ideas.


Explore the mystical realm of Hinduism: Mount Meru, abode of gods, and cosmic pivot. Pop Art by Lucas / Luke Stoffel

Mount Meru at the Prince George Gallery by Lucas Stoffel


Hindu Paintings by Lucas Stoffel

I find my deepest inspiration in the profound beauty that emerges from human devotion to the unknown. The rituals, songs, and dances we've crafted around intangible entities like gods have always fascinated me. Through my art, I aim to explore and convey these cultural interpretations of spirituality.


My work is a fusion of hand painted contemporary aesthetics with the iconic screen-printed style of Pop Art pioneers like Lichtenstein and Warhol. I create visually captivating pieces with bold colors, dynamic compositions, and clean lines, often on large-scale canvases. Photography serves as the foundation for each piece, and I transform these images through digital manipulation and reinterpretation before bringing them to life with acrylic paints.



Hue, Vietnam

Artworks by Lucas Stoffel Fine art prints available on Etsy.

Hue Citadel Lantern Dance by artist Lucas / Luke Stoffel

UNESCO Heritage Citadel Lantern Dancer of Hue, Vietnam by Lucas Stoffel


The city of Hue, is a place where history comes alive, and traditions dance through time. Nestled alongside the serene Perfume River, Hue is not just a UNESCO World Heritage Site; it's a treasure trove of Vietnam's rich cultural heritage. Today, we're embarking on a journey to explore one of its most captivating gems – the UNESCO-preserved tradition of the Dancers of the Citadel.


The Citadel: A Glimpse into Imperial Vietnam

In the heart of the city of Hue, stands the Hue Citadel. Built in the early 19th century, this massive fortress was once the royal residence of the Nguyen Dynasty emperors. Walking through its grand gates and lush gardens, you can't help but feel the weight of Vietnam's regal history.


Hue Citadel Fan Dance by artist Lucas / Luke Stoffel

UNESCO Heritage Citadel Fan Dancer of Hue, Vietnam by Lucas Stoffel


The Royal Court Dance: A Timeless Tradition:

My attention was drawn to a mesmerizing spectacle – the Royal Court Dance. This art form, once reserved for the imperial court, is a breathtaking blend of music, poetry, and dance. Each graceful movement tells a story, whether it's one of love, heroism, or spirituality.


The tradition of the Dancers of the Citadel dates back centuries. These talented artists were integral to the imperial court, entertaining emperors, dignitaries, and foreign guests with their exquisite performances. However, as Vietnam underwent significant historical changes, including war and shifts in political power, this cultural heritage faced the threat of extinction.


Recognizing the significance of this unique tradition, UNESCO designated the Complex of Hue Monuments, including the Citadel and its cultural practices, as a World Heritage Site in 1993. This official recognition marked a crucial step in preserving the Dancers of the Citadel tradition for future generations.


Hue Citadel Dancers by artist Lucas / Luke Stoffel

UNESCO Heritage Citadel Dancers of Hue, Vietnam by Lucas Stoffel


The Dance of Apsara:

One of the highlights of this performance is the Dance of Apsara. Here, the dancers embody celestial nymphs from Hindu and Buddhist mythology. Their costumes, adorned with vibrant silks and intricate embroidery, transport us to a realm where beauty and spirituality intertwine.


Hue Citadel Sword Dance by artist Lucas / Luke Stoffel

UNESCO Heritage Citadel Sword Dancers of Hue, Vietnam by Lucas Stoffel


The Dance of Warriors:

Another spellbinding segment is the Dance of Warriors. With swift and powerful movements, the dancers reenact ancient battles and heroic legends. It's a mesmerizing showcase of Vietnam's valor and honor.


The Role of Preservation:

UNESCO's preservation efforts encompass documentation, education, and performance. Talented artists, often trained from a young age, are tasked with passing down these intricate dances to ensure their survival. Workshops and performances both within Vietnam and on the global stage help raise awareness and appreciation for this remarkable cultural treasure.


Hue Citadel Masked Dancer by artist Lucas / Luke Stoffel

UNESCO Heritage Citadel Masked Dancer of Hue, Vietnam by Lucas Stoffel


My exploration of the UNESCO-preserved tradition of the Dancers of the Citadel has been a journey through the annals of Vietnamese history and culture. It's a testament to the resilience of tradition, even in the face of changing times. As we admire the graceful movements and vibrant costumes of these artists, we leave with hearts full of appreciation for Vietnam's cultural heritage and a deep respect for those who dedicate their lives to preserving it. If you ever find yourself in Hue, don't miss the opportunity to witness this mesmerizing performance that dances through the ages, thanks to the enduring efforts of UNESCO.




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