Tablets of Chanteroels
The stained-glass windows of Zhou Jinde
Lettres Nouvelles d’Alsace (6 May 2002)
Zhou Jinde, a Chinese painter, has created a unique work of art inspired by the fragments of the tablets found at Chanteroels, to which he was given access after numerous bureaucratic steps. He used laboratory techniques inspired by those of the Laboratory of Research on Photonic Systems of the Louis Pasteur Institute in Strasbourg.
“It is a technique I had already tested thanks to an order from the French FRAC. In fact, this is not true stained glass, the ancient calligrapher from Beijing declared. To begin with, all this work is photographical before it is transformed by computer graphics. Just like Rouault’s paintings, I drew my inspiration from the aspect of stained-glass windows and not from the method.” Zhou used extracts taken from the tablets of Chanteroels to create the theme (visible but illegible) on the stained-glass windows in the Puits d’Ambroise chapel. “This work enabled me to focus on the very essence of what separates the East from the West: an understanding of the world. The way we think, breathe and act is inscribed in our handwriting. In China as in Europe, people have understood the meaning of this method, even though most of them have not analyzed the process opposing the ideographical aspect to a culture and the phonetic materialization of the spoken language in another culture.” Through its contemporary projection, everybody has felt the place in which the initial bond lied…