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gooood Under 35 NO.41 introduces Tuo Hang (Contact: email@example.com), founder of Archcomic (WeChat: Archcomic, only in Chinese). More: Archcomic on gooood
出品人：向玲 / Producer: Xiang Ling
编辑团队：陈诺嘉，武晨曦，刘丹阳 / Editor: Chen Nuojia, Wu Chenxi, Liu Danyang
I has been into drawing since I was a child. Until senior year of high school, I still hoped that I could become a oil painter in the future. However, my parents thought that being an architect would be more reliable than being an artist and they tried to persuade me to study architecture. Under the effect of many factors, I decided to study architecture in the end.
▼庹航大学时期的建筑绘画作品，architectural drawing of Tuo Hang during university study
In 2005, I admitted the architecture department of the Central Academy of Fine Art and started my graduated study in the same school. I studied at Tokyo University of the Arts as an exchange student from October, 2011 to August, 2012. During that period, I visited many splendid buildings, which was an important experience for me. I rarely make architectural sketches when traveling. As I didn’t have much money as a student, my travel time was very limited and I had to keep moving from one place to another. Before visiting an architecture, I would find and study the plans of the building to form a general impression. When I arrived at the site, I would connect the drawings and my imagination with the real experience, creating deep memories of the building.
▼研究生期间在日本和欧洲游学，traveling in Japan and Europe during graduate study
After I graduated from the graduate school in 2013, I started to work in BIAD. I established Archcomic in October, 2017 and published my first architectural comic Tokyo Forum. Now I am working in Zhongye Architecture Design and Research Company.
▼Archcomic发布的四篇建筑漫画，four architectural comics created by Archcomic
（左上）东京国际会议中心，(upper left) Tokyo Forum
（右上）国立西洋美术馆，(upper right) National Museum of Western Art
（左下）朗香教堂，(lower left) Chapelle de Ronchamp
（右下）美秀美术馆，(lower right) Miho Museum
Beginning of the Creation
I personally enjoy reading comics and wanted to combine comic and my work as an architect on some level. In this era of information fragmentation, there should be someone to produce and spread some in-depth contents which need consideration. I feel the traditional reading form of texts and images on the mobile phone is relatively boring. If we describe architecture by comics, we can not only directly show people’s movement in the environment through continuous images, but also make architecture more easy to be understand by adding simple introductions.
In May, 2017, I completed a project which I had been in charge of for a long time. Then I gained more spare time and wanted to create something by myself. As I love reading comics, I decided to draw a comic about architecture. The process of drawing was not as ideal as I imagined. At the beginning, I planned to complete the comic in two months. However, it took more than 4 months to do the work, from May to September. It was my first time to draw a comic and I could only do it in my spare time which was hard to control. The most difficult part was to translate the script into story boards. Only when this step was done well, could the story take shape.
Four Architectural Comics
Tokyo forum is one of the first buildings I visited in Japan. Although it is not familiar to Chinese people, it was an very important international bidding project in Japan at that time. After visiting the whole project, I found it brilliant in handling the relationship between the architecture and the city. There was a relativity large amount of research materials on this project so that it naturally became the subject of my first comic work. The analysis drawing in the comic was exactly from my graduate work in Tokyo University of the Art. As it was my first comic, I had faced many problems during work. I didn’t draw all the story borads and the logic of the story was somehow like an documentary. My painting technique was also under developing.
▼东京国际会议中心漫画节选，使用了很多分析图，selected pages of Tokyo Forum, using a lot of analysis diagrams
National Museum of Western Art
After making the comic of Tokyo Forum, I have gained new ideas on architectural comic. For me, the National Museum of Western Art was a surprise. Before I went to Japan, I had never heard of it. When I stepped into the building, I was deeply impressed by the centeral lobby which has been imprinted in my mind. I decided to draw the National Museum of Western Art in my second comic was just because of the central lobby. At the beginning of the work, I planned to continue the form of analysis drawing. However, I found the analysis diagrams were quite different from the experience in my memory, and it could not convey the charm of the space that had impressed me. Then I realized that drawing a comic, I should use continuous scenes to recall the spatial experience, which became the core of my future creation.
▼国立西洋美术馆漫画节选，使用连续的画面表现人在建筑中的感受，selected pages of National Museum of Western Art, using continuous pictures to express people’s experience in the architecture
Chapelle de Ronchamp
Chapelle de Ronchamp was the first comic completed by our team. The initial script was developed by my mentor, who was a fan and a researcher of Le Corbusier. Originally it was supposed to be created with the National Museum of Western Art simultaneoursly. However, the latter encountered many unexpected problems in its creation and was not finished until August, 2019. After that, I reviewed the script of Chapelle de Ronchamp and the story boards that had been finished, and felt them not very satisfying. Then I made some adjustment and added conversation between Priest Allan and Le Corbusier into the story, strengthening the image of the priest. Duan Bangyu, a junior fellow student of mine and also my colleague, transformed the previous storyboards into formal manuscripts. He was very enthusisastic in this work. Affter the new storyboards were completed, I made the line draft while he was in charge of coloring. It took us about a year and finally, we achieved a relatively satisfactory outcome in Janaury, 2020. Many readers found the stoy in Chapelle de Ronchamp was so real that it could recall their visiting memory. In fact, I have never been to Chapelle de Ronchamp.
▼朗香教堂漫画节选，强化阿兰神父的形象，使故事更具戏剧性，selected pages of Chapelle de Ronchamp, emphasize the image of Priest Allan, making the story more dramatic
After creating two comics on Le Corbusier’s works in a line, I wanted to draw some buildings made by other architects. My wife suggested me to take Miho Museum as the new subject. It was at the beginning of the epidemic of the coronavirus and I had plenty of spare time. If the comic could be completed in May, it could be a memorial to Mr. Leoh Ming Pei. I was inspired by the film Inception to use a nesting structure to tell the story, which began with the story of An Idyllic Land of Peach-Blossom Spring. The creation of The Peach-Blossom Spring of Leoh Ming Pei was proceeded smoothly. We spent about two months drawing and published it just in the middle of May. Mr. Bei Jianzhong and Bei Lizhong expressed their fondness in this story from America.
▼美秀美术馆漫画节选，从桃花源记插入，表达建筑给人的体验，selected pages of Mino Museum, starting with An Idyllic Land of Peach-Blossom Spring, showing the experience in the museum
▼穿过隧道，柳暗花明，go through the tunnel into a new world
▼连接隧道和美术馆的桥梁，bridge connecting the tunnel and the museum
Subject Selection and Creating Process
The team members of Archcomic are all working in the architectural industry and they are all using spare time to make comics. We introduced professional comic making process into our work, from script writing, drawing and layout, to operation. It is the reason why our comic making cycle is relatively long.
At first, we planned to draw ten buildings, 5 of which were located in Japan while the architects were not limited in Japanese. The other 5 would be works of Le Corbusier. We chose Corbusier mainly because of his fame. However, when I was an architecture student, I lacked understanding in his works, only regarding him as a pioneer in modern architecture. I have gained in-depth experience on his works since I went to Japan and France, which made me more eager to understand them.
▼国立美术馆绘制过程，working process of the National Museum of Western Art
At first I merely wanted to share the architecture itself. When I was writing the script, I found that there were many interesting aspects of one building as more and more information was discovered, which made the story longer and longer. The content was first based on real or imagined spatial experience, which would be complemented with professional materials。 When I was thinking and drawing, I had already been quite familiar with the architecture. I would let meself immersed in the space, enjoying myself so much as to forget to leave. Only then the story could give a similar experience to the readers.
Reality and Fabrication
The background masterials are mainly based on the theme of the story so that we will start collecting information after determining the topic. When it comes to the final story, we will try our best to keep the events in the story real and add some dramatic content to help the readers to understand the architecture. There is no fixed percentage of how much is real and how much is fabricated.
Professional and Popular
I originally wanted to make the story more professional and mainly targeted on the imployees in the architectural industry. However, during the process of creating, I found that it needed more knowledge to understand too professional contenct, which was not conducive to the spread of the content. After in-depth consideration, we realized that it would also be difficult for us to operate if the story was too professional so that we decided to add some relatively less specific contecnt, making the story more popular to the public. It will be our pleasure if the reader find the project interesting and collect more professional information by themselves.
Style of Creation
The style of my work is mainly decided by my personal preference. I am more into “hardcore” painting styles. Though it will take more time to draw in realistic style, I enjoy the process a lot. The palette of the story is determined by the characteristics of the building. Like in The Peach-Blossom Spring of Leoh Ming Pei, the second part of the story was in a more vivid tone.
▼美秀美术馆后半部分色彩更加鲜明，与建筑特点有关，the color tone is more vivid in the second part of Miho Museum, corresponding to the characteristics of the architecture
Reflections and Expectations
For me, the support from my families gives me confidence to keep on working. For the team, the love from our readers is our motivation.
As the working cycle of creating our own content is relatively long, our official WeChat account has been transformed in to a platform to tell the stories of architectural industry through comics and illustrations, conveying the works of other content creators with the same value as us.
▼公众号截图和成长历程，screen shot of the official account of Archcomic on WeChat and the growth process of Archcomic
▼庹航漫画肖像，portrait of Tuo Hang in the comics
WeChat Official Account: Archcomic (only in Chinese)
More: Archcomic on gooood