Montreal Artist Nathon Kong Celebrates Two Icons With a Limited-Edition Design

The reimagining of Duck à l'orange pays tribute to two acclaimed Quebec-based artists, Jean Paul Riopelle and Madeleine Arbour.

Jean Paul Riopelle’s work Canard à l’orange, a silk-square scarf designed for the Musée du Québec (now known as the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec) in 1994 featuring a duck with an orange, has been reimagined as an accessory and collector’s item by Montreal designer Nathon Kong, in collaboration with the Foundation Riopelle, to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the births of artists Riopelle and fellow Quebec designer Madeleine Arbour.


Canard l'orange


The new iteration of the square, printed on 100 per cent mulberry silk, has Riopelle’s emblematic aquatic birds in three corners and one in the centre, all drawn in black, grey, orange, and cream. Measuring 132 centimetres by 132 centimetres, the silk was limited to 100 units, each signed by Yseult Riopelle, daughter of Jean Paul.



Jean Paul Riopelle and Madeleine Arbour, who turned 100 last year, were friends until the former’s death in 2002. Their lifelong friendship is also celebrated with Canard à l’orange. Riopelle, who was born the same year as Arbour, illustrated and signed a silk square in 1994 for the Musée du Québec at Arbour’s request, and he chose the bird from the flag of his yacht Serica, contributing to a high-end exhibition of fashion art objects.

“Between chic and casual, Riopelle never chose. Canard à l’orange is a good example of this freedom. He always said that his work wasn’t abstract, but that it started from nature. The subject of this silkscreen was inspired by the emblem Riopelle had for his boat’s flag, and was designed by his lifelong friend Madeleine Arbour. As we celebrate the centenary of these two exceptional creative minds, we are delighted to offer this landmark work in a new form,” Yseult says.


Canard l'orange


Nathon Kong, who is known for his talents in wearable creations, says it is an honour to pay tribute to the two artists’ inspiring friendship and “bring it back to life” through this design. “Le Canard à l’orange represents an artistic complicity that has given birth to a timeless work,” he says.

Part of the proceeds go towards the namesake nonprofit organization that provides creative programs and arts education to youth.