Bearer of Silence
This is the amazing first-person narrative of a courageous female painter in China. An art student in Toulouse, France, Fabienne Verdier boldly decides one day to leave everything behind in search of the forgotten secrets of Chinese calligraphy. After being raped by the coach of a rugby team on her stopover in Karachi, she overcomes the trauma and adapts to the life of a foreigner in China. In the province of Sichuan, she joins an art school controlled by the communist party. During her stay there, she is fearless in the face of such obstacles as the language barrier, cold treatment, rampant promiscuity, poverty, and disease, and the inquisitional practices of the Chinese administration. Immersing herself in the culture, she becomes the student of a group of extremely talented artists, marginalized by the system, who teach her the secrets and codes of this thousand-year old art form. She also falls in love. In Passagère du silence, Fabienne Verdier retraces the artistic, philosophical, and emotional quest that made her the artist and woman she is today. Furthermore, we not only learn how calligraphy evolved over time, but are also taken on a journey through the history of China, its cultural revolution, and its various culinary, artistic, and political traditions. More than an autobiography, La Passagère du silence poetically demonstrates how the touching remnants of a magnificent civilization still survive in an often Kafkaesque China.
Fabienne Verdier : Fabienne Verdier graduated from both L’École des Beaux-Arts in Toulouse, France and L’insitut des beaux-arts in Sichuan, China. After studying Chinese painting and calligraphy for ten years, she served as France’s cultural attaché to Peking. She is currently concentrating solely on her art career, exhibiting her work in galleries and museums from Paris to Hong Kong.