Altaplana, world of Francois Schuiten and Benoit Peeters

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Kunwu, Li

Li Kunwu (born 1955) is a Chinese cartoonist who created graphic novels published in France. Li is a self-taught artist and never attended art school.He read a book on how to make political propaganda and began painting criticisms of landowners. Li worked as a farmer after, in the 1970s, becoming a member of the People's Liberation Army, and worked towards becoming a member of the CPC. He used his experience in visual arts to make official propaganda for the Communist Party, including images of Mao Zedong. He painted pictures of farmers for the Department of Propaganda and worked for the Yunnan Ribao [zh] (云南日报); he worked at the latter for thirty years 1).

In January 2014, fourteen of his works were exhibited by the Musée Cernuschi in Paris, and about fifty of his works were exhibited in the Grand Theatre in Angers. In 2015 the Michelin Foundation established an exhibit of his works in Clermont, and it did the same the following year in Shanghai 2).

François Schuiten and Li Kunwu both have a passion for trains, one created a train museum in an ancient jewel of Brussels railway architecture, the other investigated the railway line built in Yunnan province at the beginning of the 20th century. Both are preparing an exhibition on the Beijing-Hankou line (Hankou, Wuchang and Hanyang constitute the current Wuhan), presented in Brussels in 2021.

These two railway lines, long dotted with small stations with Western architecture, are emblematic of the role played by France and Belgium in China at the end of the 19th century 3).