French author-illustrator Jean-Charles Sarrazin at his exhibition featuring Hanoi in 1987 and 1988 and the originals of his three books now published in Vietnamese.
In the exhibition Between France and Vietnam, Sarrazin presents his views of daily life in the country’s capital when he studied at Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts thanks to a scholarship granted by the French government. He was then the first French student to be offered a scholarship by the French government to study in Vietnam after reunification.
On May 6, he met the public in the capital city and presented his three newly published books in Vietnamese at l’Espace, the French Cultural Centre.
His latest children book is inspired by a traditional Vietnamese tale entitled Tri Khon Ta Day (See my Intelligence). He demonstrates to his reader through a fable how quick minded people manage to get through difficult and dangerous situations.
He also organised workshops in Hanoi and HCM City to teach young Vietnamese children to draw. Jean-Charles Sarrazin is an illustrator of the Ecole des Loisirs, a well-known publisher of children’s books and young adult books. He teaches drawing, writing and illustrating children’s stories.
Jean-Charles Sarrazin was 20 when he came to Vietnam in 1987. It was in 1986, at the end of his studies in France that he met the poet and Minister of Culture Cu Huy Can. “I told him of my desire to pursue my studies abroad after my diploma at the National Superior Applied Arts School Olivier de Serres in Paris,” he recalls.
He wrote a project about the exchange of artistic knowledge which he sent to the Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts. His idea was to learn traditional techniques such as lacquer painting, wood engraving and especially silk painting those art forms which are specific to Vietnam.
It was an exciting year for him professionally, but also personally. He met great artists such as Bui Xuan Phai and Buu Chi. After he went back to France, with the help of Nguyen Thu, the then director of the Hanoi University of Industrial Fine Arts, he developed an exchange programme between the fine art universities in Paris and Hanoi.
The exhibition runs until May 15 at l’Espace, the French cultural Centre, located at 24 Trang Tien Street.