Chinese and French cartoonists explore Nanjing’s culture and creativity together

Apr 09, 2024

Chinese and French cartoonists explore Nanjing’s culture and creativity together
Chinese and French cartoonists explore Nanjing’s culture and creativity together

Tourists boating in Xuanwu Lake Park, Nanjing, east China's Jiangsu province, October 3, 2022. (Photo: Yang Suping)
NANJING, March 20 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese-French “City of Literature” young cartoonists global residence programme reached its sixth stop a few days ago, in Nanjing, in the eastern Chinese province of Jiangsu. Popular Chinese cartoonist Lin Dihuan and young French cartoonist Benoît Hamet worked together on an in-depth seven-day project.
Organised jointly by the two UCCN “City of Literature” of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network, Nanjing and Angoulême, the project opened on 26 January in Angoulême, and invited two Chinese and French artists to make an in-depth two-month visit to nine creative cities around the world. This project links the world's creative cities with comics as a literary medium, and strengthens international cultural exchanges and mutual understanding.
Nanjing, one of the project's host cities, has a long cultural history and deep literary deposits. Cultural sites tell the story of the city's past and present in a lively way. Crossing Nanjing's Yangtze River Bridge, boating on Lake Xuanwu, exploring an insect workshop hidden in a residential area, the two cartoonists used expressive artwork to recreate the cultural charm and creativity of this ancient capital.
Since the start of their world tour on the theme of comics, Mr Lin and Mr Hamet have drawn inspiration from each other's creative styles, influencing each other and forging a deep friendship. During his visit to Nanjing, Mr Hamet also tried his hand at creating comic strips with a brush for the first time. “I learned a lot of drawing techniques from Mr Lin and saw a lot of good work,”says Mr Hamet.
Mr Lin favours minimalist creations. With a few strokes, simple outlines and coloured accents, a minimalist Chinese painting is obvious. He says that, inspired by traditional Chinese paintings, ink comics are more dynamic and free.
This trip has enabled the two cartoonists to learn from each other and exchange ideas. “In many countries, when passers-by see us drawing, they stop and ask us to take a photo and start a more in-depth conversation with us,” says Mr Lin, adding that “aesthetics transcends borders, and the vitality of civilisations is enriched by creative and aesthetic exchanges with other peoples.”
According to Yuan Shuang, UNESCO Nanjing City of Literature Focal Point, the aim of the project is to show the world the charm of literature, media arts, film, design, gastronomy, music, crafts and other fields in the form of comic strips, as well as promoting interaction and cultural diversity between creative cities around the world.
“A collection of comics and a documentary film will be exhibited on a touring basis in creative cities after this event, contributing to cultural exchanges between China and other countries around the world,” she adds.

Back to Top