Tintin's forgotten friend

Updated: 2014-10-17 07:00

By Zhang Kun(Shanghai Star)

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Tintin's forgotten friend

A watercolor by the artist.

Zhang was eager to transform his ideas to art , and adopt what he learned in the West to depict subjects relevant to his homeland.

In his sculpture "Love and Responsibility", he depicts a man holding his beloved woman with one hand, and a plough with the other. In "Clear Spring" he modified an earlier nude sculpture to feature a Chinese woman. A towel around the hips covered a crack on the bronze, adding to the coyness of Chinese feminine beauty.

When the "cultural revolution" (1966-1976) broke out, Zhang found himself in big trouble. Red guards discovered in his home a small draft sculpture of former regime leader Chang Kai-Shek on horseback. Zhang was commissioned the project when the Kuo Min Tang government celebrated the defeat of Japanese invaders and the victory of the World War II.

The sculpture was never made, but the draft gave the red guards an excuse to ransack his house, destroying many of his works. His life's savings of gold was confiscated.

One of his daughters could not take the drastic changes to the family, and left home. She was never found, and Zhang was scarred for life because of the loss. In 1966, Chongren Studio was closed.

Zhang later joined SPSI and after the political turbulence, he served as director for the institute. In 1981, Zhang and Herge met again in Europe, decades after Herge pictured their reunion in "Tintin in Tibet". Zhang died in France at 91 years old.

If you go

Time: 9:30 am-5 pm, Tue-Sun, till Oct 26

Address: SPSI Art Museum, 111 Jinzhu Road, Changning district,长宁区金珠路111号上海油雕院美术馆