As she left the examination room where she had just finished her masters in Chinese, Catherine Henriette realised that in fact, she didn’t master anything at all.  Within 1/125th and 1/250th of a second, she thus decided to travel to China in search of herself. China, with its 700 million Chinese people, as French pop star Jacques Dutronc’s song goes.  So what about her and her and her…?

Amidst the crowd, her heart of gold is struck by silver chloride, not at all in a sentimental way but more through her fascination with extreme industrialisation: she will be a photographer. She battles internally, debating the point – she is not any easy character and wants to remain in control of her destiny. Yet her destiny surpasses her… the photographer will out!

Her child-like hypersensitivity is thus transformed into emotion. Her solitude becomes independence. Little by little, the immense stature of her sensibility outgrows its physical embodiment. Unlike other women, it is not the gilded baubles hanging from her neck that make her beautiful, but her black Leica. From the unemployment line of the ANPE to the AFP news agency, she has earned her good name and has travelled the world, reading its faces ever since, to the delight of the readers of GEO, Le Figaro, L’Express…

Marc Desmazières