Harrison is from the North East China while Jehanne is from Belgium. Both are pillars in the Beijing design community. Harrison grew up during the Cultural Revolution where his larger than life personality was picked to perform acting and opera in the army. Jehanne chose 15 years ago to devote her life to oriental art, and left her privileged upbringing to move to China. They live in an ancient Ming dynasty temple where they transmit their unique philosophy to their children Genghis and Nour. Besides their regular crafts in filmmaking, furniture design, and jewelry design, they work together as a living bicultural bridge in their interior design studio where they create lifestyles for people to enjoy.
These two are great examples of how, when you follow your dreams, you will find happiness. They also share their values of raising their children, which is another more complicated element in an intercultural relationship.
Probably the most interesting moment was when we met them for the first time in their house. I was standing in their beautiful
courtyard talking to their maid in Chinese with their daughter, Nour, off to the side. She heard me speak two sentences, then said, “American” in French (she speaks French with her mother). I looked at her, and asked how did she know, and she said in her fluent Chinese, “there is a boy in my school who is also American, and you sound just like him.” In my four years, nobody from China has ever picked me out that quickly, and she’s only 7 years old!
This is part of a series of short documentary films about real-life European-Chinese couples conceived and produced for the Delegation of the European Union to China. View the other featured short films below: