Li Chi-tak. Does this name ring a bell to you? Maybe you have not seen any work from Li, also known as the“Godfather of Hong Kong independent comics”, but he has made his name to Paris. The Louvre is in collaboration with Hong Kong Arts Centre and invited Li Chi-tak to create a Lourve-themed comic book, which the Chinese version will be published next year, followed by a translated version into French.
Li Chi-tak wandering in the Louvre after it was closed to the public
In fact, Li was invited to the Louvre to do research for his comic book earlier in May this year, but the project was only recently unveiled by the Louvre’s officials. Li was given the permission to walk around the museum after it was closed, with access to restricted areas like underground passages, rooftops and rooms that are closed to the public. He even used a torch to look at the museum’s collection at night.
Left to right: Fabrice Douar (curator of “the Louvre and comics” project), Li Chi-tak and Connie Lam (Executive Director, Hong Kong Arts Centre)
An illustration of his wife in front of the Louvre as a gift to Hong Kong Arts Centre
Li said his idea was to create a fantasy comic about people with regeneration power, to explore issues relating to death and rebirth. He would also add some historical elements to the work, but he made it clear that clichés about the Louvre like Mona Lisa would not be included.
Li has been working as a comic artist for 35 years. He is widely acclaimed for his drawing of surrealistic scenes and wild imagination displayed in his work such as the Yoyager. He also designed an artwork for Ta Ming Pair Tribute Album that released in January this year, to pay tribute to this famous Hong Kong singing group.
Li has also established his reputation in Japan and Europe. In January 2016, he became the first Hong Kong artist to hold a solo exhibition entitled “Li Chi-tak, Hong Kong Wizard” at Angoulême International Comics Festival in France.
Seven dreams of the Louvre - comics about the Louvre by Taiwanese artists
This collaboration is part of the Louvre’s La Bande Dessinée (BD) project, which means “the Louvre meets comics”. The project also reached out to Japanese and Taiwanese artists and published their comics about the Louvre. We are going to introduce their comics and talk about crossover between classical art and modern comics next time.