Tintin’s capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

Here’s a perfect getaway for parents looking to relieve the boredom of long summer vacations for their kids, when commuting out of town is no longer the best option.

Famous characters from the “Adventures of Tintin” are here, making the Powerhouse of Art their home until the end of October on the fifth floor, with a huge terrace overlooking the Huangpu River.

With incredible access to the original sources of the Hergé Museum in Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, the exhibition titled “Tintin et Hergé” celebrates the art of comics, which had not been considered to be true art. the time of Hergé. It is now “a means of expression in its own right, like literature or cinema”, which influenced many during their formative years.

Hergé (1907-1983), the creator of the Tintin series – 24 albums over 54 years – is the centerpiece of the celebration of his attachment to Tintin, his talent as a storyteller and his multifaceted life, dominated by significant events that defined the like the two world wars, space exploration, technological advances and post-war conflicts.

© Hergé – Moulinsart 2021

Hergé (1907-1983), creator of the Tintin series

Tintin's capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

Courtesy of PSA

A family of emblematic characters from Hergé’s comic book “The Adventures of Tintin”

“It took me about an hour to tour the show with the museum guide, and I wish I could have stayed longer,” said Zheng Xinyao, a famous Chinese cartoonist. “If you ask me to compare, I would say that Hergé is Chinese Zhang Leping (1910-1992), a self-taught artist who created the comic book character Sanmao – an orphan wandering the streets – for a world of readers. “

Born Georges Remi in Brussels in 1907, Hergé studied at the Collège Saint-Boniface where, in his own words, he was bored to death. In 1921, he joined the Boy Scouts, where he acquired the totem name Inquisitive Fox. His first drawings appeared in 1924 in Jamais enough, his review of school scouting, and he signed his drawings with the name of Hergé, reversing his initials RG pronounced in French.

At the end of his studies, Hergé was employed in the subscription service of the newspaper Le Vingtième Siècle. His career took a new turn in 1928 when he was entrusted with the design, direction and illustration of Petit Vingtième, a weekly supplement intended for young readers of the newspaper.

Tintin the reporter and his dog Snowy make their debut in the supplement of January 10, 1929. In these first stories, Hergé gives free rein to his imagination by improvising instead of elaborating the plot. But in 1934, a meeting with the Chinese artist Zhang Chongren, a student at the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Brussels, marked a decisive turning point.

Zhang visited Hergé at his home every Sunday throughout 1934. He taught Hergé Chinese poetry, calligraphy, and the basics of Taoist philosophy. They also discussed the political situation in China before World War II. Eager to elevate a sense of realism in his stories, Hergé immediately set out to incorporate as much information as he was learning into the creation of “The Blue Lotus” – the fifth album.

In this adventure, Tintin arrives in Shanghai during the concession era and successfully breaks a plot linked to an international opium smuggling gang with the help of a Chinese orphan Chang, whom he saved from drowning.

To highlight the cross-cultural friendship between the two, the PSA exhibit includes Hergé’s detailed storyboards featuring locals, Sikh and British police, as well as colorful business posters and banners on the streets of Shanghai that Zhang helped paint – giving extra depth for those who can read Chinese. From page 19 until the end of the album, Tintin dresses Chinese-style, not as an easy gesture of solidarity but rather to blend in with the crowd!

Tintin's capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

Courtesy of PSA

The black dragon on the red carpet looks like the cover of “The Blue Lotus”, Tintin’s fifth adventure.

Tintin's capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

© Hergé – Moulinsart 2021

A painting by Tintin in a street in Shanghai from “Le Lotus Bleu”, dated October 11, 1934

Tintin's capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

© Hergé – Moulinsart 2021

A painting by Chinese doctor Fang Shiying from “The Blue Lotus”, dated March 21, 1935

There’s also a Chinese dining table with four chairs, featuring photos of the two artists in Brussels, brushes Zhang used to teach Hergé to paint, and Zhang’s diaries. The black dragon on the album cover, from which Hergé was inspired, is enlarged to float on the surrounding background. Standing on the red carpet, with an air of Suzhou Pingtan (a traditional form of storytelling and song) playing in the background, visitors experience an immersive time travel experience in 1930s Shanghai.

With the success of “Le Lotus Bleu”, Hergé became convinced of the importance of a solidly constructed script and the need for in-depth research and preparation. He began to take seriously what until then was just a game.

Hergé worked with precision and method. A video clip made in Hergé Studios, founded in 1950, gives viewers a glimpse of what was needed for the story to fit into the standard 62-page book format with the help of his collaborators – who have helped to research basic information, fashion trends, advanced technologies and coloring.

“You can’t even begin to imagine how long and arduous this is. It is actually manual labor! writer and director.

Tintin's capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

Courtesy of PSA

A photo of Studios Hergé, founded in 1950, gives viewers a glimpse of what it took to make the comic book series.

Despite his busy schedule, Hergé never failed to respond to his young readers, who followed Tintin’s adventures over the years and wrote long letters expressing their dissatisfaction with the errors in his works.

“There was a child who pointed out that I had drawn banana leaves on the coconut palms. He also attached a photo of the banana and coconut palms that he had taken to his letter. reported an error concerning the eclipse. In the book “Prisoners of the Sun”, the eclipse moves from right to left, when in reality it should go from left to right because Peru is in the southern hemisphere “, Hergé said in the interview, holding himself responsible for the mistakes. “These are the boys who read the real adventures and I can’t let them down.”

Hergé’s research and attention to hyper-realistic detail accelerated when it came to the Moon adventure. There was absolutely no room in a drawing for fantasy or over-imagination. It took Bob De Moor, one of his assistants, a whole month to finalize the intricate details and perspective of the majestic rocket design.

When the time comes for Tintin to be the first human to see the incredible landscape of the Moon, he solemnly descends the ladder outside the rocket. He sets foot on the moon and takes a few steps. Who reading the story in 1954 would have guessed that Neil Armstrong, the first person on the Moon 15 years later, said: “This is a small step for man, a giant leap for mankind.”

The exhibition presents Hergé’s two letters to space experts Bernard Heuvelmans and Alexandre Ananoff on lunar rockets and the origins of the spacewalk project in 1949 and 1950, respectively.

Tintin's capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

© Hergé – Moulinsart 2021

Watercolor print of page 25-26 showing the moon rocket from “Explorers on the Moon”, published in 1954

“You just have to read Hergé’s letters,” said Wang Yue, representative of Moulinsart in China. “His use of words and writing styles is so humble that anyone who receives such a request will not have the heart to refuse it.”

Wang, 53, recalled the excitement of his childhood when he received his first album Tintin from his French teacher to improve his French outside of class.

“It captivated and delighted me as a child. And who could know that one day I would meet Zhang’s daughter at the Tintin store in Brussels, and eventually open the Tintin store in Shanghai,” said Wang. “Tintin’s courage and kindness always affect and encourage me.”

Tintin is much more than the intrepid hero whose cause is just and a pure heart; it is the centerpiece of a complex universe where we are confronted with our own reality. Characters such as Captain Haddock, Professor Calculus, Signora Bianca Castafiore, and twin detectives Thompson and Thomson bring color, depth and perspective to his world.

As Tintin’s global adventures continued, he became one of the best known and admired cartoon characters of the 20th century, drawing hundreds of millions of fans from all over the world. To date, the collection has been translated into over 70 languages ​​and published in over 100 countries, with over 230 million copies sold.

Ren Jian came to the exhibition with his wife. He says he started reading the Tintin series with his son in the 2000s. The father and son were in love with the different means of transport used by Tintin during his travels around the world: boats, planes, cars, buses, trucks. , trains, canoes, rafts, horses and even llamas.

“The comics are full of beautiful interpretations of various means of transportation. Vehicles have followed the development in the field of transport. vehicles is equivalent to studying the history of transport, ”said Ren, who is currently revising a translation of the book“ Hergé, Tintin and the airplane ”.

Tintin's capers from all over the world surge in Shanghai

Courtesy of PSA

An enlarged sketch of the Galerie Fourcart after “Tintin et l’Alph-Art”.

Zhou Qi came to the exhibition with his friends. She said they came to the salon to look for fashion and design ideas, especially for the unfinished album “Tintin et Alph-Art”.

The 24th album in the Tintin series is an unfinished symphony. Three pages in pencil, 42 extra roughly sketched pages, a few script pages and other scribbles and notes make up Hergé’s ultimate story.

The plot takes place against the backdrop of the modern art world, which Hergé knew well in his later years. Indeed, he was passionate about modern art from the 1960s and even tried it on weekends. But he decided not to push his hobby any further, because “I only have one life… and I have to choose: painting or Tintin, it can’t be both!

The exhibition presents for the first time to the public a number of modern paintings by Hergé, as well as his collections of Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jean-Pierre Raynaud and others. The sketch of the Galerie Fourcart where the adventure is supposed to begin is reproduced on site, on the model of the Galerie Carrefour on Avenue Louise in Brussels, which Hergé frequented.

Note that in his choice of name, Hergé returns to his old tricks: the name of the “Fourcart” gallery is “Carrefour” read backwards, just as he chose Hergé for Georges Remi 59 years earlier, when he was 17.

Exhibition information

Dates: Until October 31 (closed Mondays), 11 am-7pm; Daily guided tour 11.30am-12.30pm, 2 pm-3pm, 3.30pm-4.30pm

Tickets: 60 yuan (half price for teachers and students)

Location: 5 / F, Power Station of Art

Address: 678 Miaojiang Road

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