Flights of fancy
HA NOI — The third cartoon festival is currently running at the Ha Noi Library and will conclude on Friday.
|All blues: The series of comic strips by the Belgian cartoonist Peyo The Schtroumpfs (The Smurfs) centers on a group of small blue fictional creatures and is well-known all over the world.—VNS Photo Bach Lien
On display are works by 40 famous Belgian cartoonists from the Wallonie region and Brussels as well as 11 young Vietnamese artists.
In Wallonie and Brussels, cartoons are often called "the ninth art". More than half the books published in Belgium are cartoon albums. Nearly 1,000 artists and cartoon authors have made the region their kingdom for over a century. Common themes focus on everyday aspects of society and author expectations.
"Forty years ago, in Belgium, there were some prejudices against cartoons. Parents used to believe that they had a bad influence on their children's writing style and scholarly results. Now, everything has changed. If children can read good cartoons, it's a wonderful tool to stimulate their imagination and lead them on to reading other good books," says well-known Belgian cartoon author Jean-Claude Servais.
Visitors will have occasion to discover 30 Vietnamese works, especially created for the event.
"They are the result of workshops on cartoon creation, run under the guidance of well-known Belgian authors," explains Pham Quang Vinh, director of Kim Dong Publishing House.
"The exhibition marks the development in quality of Vietnamese cartoons," he adds.
The Vietnamese works centre on diverse social concerns such as the environment (Nguyen The Linh's Big Rain), dreams and actions (Lai Hien Luong's Mum) and love (Tran Huong's Egg's Love).
On this occasion, Belgian cartoonists Jean Auquier, director of the Belgian Strip Cartoons Centre, and Servais held a seminar at weekend about the art of composing with their fellow Vietnamese authors.
"It is an honour for us to welcome such great author as Servais, who has shown a lot of support for the development of cartoon art in the country," said Franck Pezza, head of the Wallonie-Bruxelles delegation.
The event, held at Ha Noi Library, 47 Ba Trieu Street, is co-organised by Wallonie – Bruxelles Delegation and Kim Dong Publishing House. The two previous cartoon festivals held in 2010 and 2011 proved popular with the public.
In 2010, Vietnamese artists met and exchanged experiences with Vietnamese-Belgian artist Vinh Khoa. They created a postcard together in celebration of the 1,000th anniversary of the capital city of Ha Noi. — VNS