The first Tintin store in China was officially inaugurated on Monday in Shanghai, various Chinese media reported. Zhang Yifei, the daughter of Chang (Zhan Chong Ren), the friend of Hergé who collaborated in the production of the Blue Lotus Tintin comic, was present at the inauguration, along with numerous personalities and fans of Tintin.
Zhang Yifei took some of her father’s journals along for the occasion, as well as a self-portrait of him, and letters between Hergé (real name Serges Remi) and Chang. “These letters and journals show that my father and Georges Remi spoke a lot about a culture, history, calligraphy and Chinese porcelain,” Mrs Zhang told the Chinese press.
The store in Shanghai sells more than 1,000 products and contains an effigy of the famous Belgian reporter.
Hergé is very popular in China, thanks mainly to the “Blue Lotus” published in 1934 in the “Petit Vingtième”, then combined as a book in 1936. Chang, who was studying in Belgium at the time, participated in the book by giving precious information on daily life in China. He also wrote the Chinese text for the book and, among other things, explained the country’s customs.
Following their collaboration, life separated the two friends, who finally met again in 1981, two years before Hergé died. Chang died in 1998.