“La main d’Adèle” – “Adèle’s hand”



As an object and subject of creation, the hand is the main theme of this new exhibition reuniting a selection of works from the FRACNR (FRAC) and the collections from the Vacquerie House – Victor Hugo Museum. Through the organization of its outdoor exhibitions, in 2018, the FRAC focuses on several Maisons des Illustres (“Houses of the Famous”) in Normandy, in order to develop a dialogue of some sorts between the cultural heritage of Normandy and a selection of contemporary artworks from its own collection.

This is the purpose of this exhibition dedicated to the hand as an object of artistic creation. Indeed, Victor Hugo’s hand, as a writer and a draughtsman, was necessarily at the centre of the creative process. It is also a subject or a symbol in some drawings or texts; a symbol of humanity and of started or aborted gestures. Many contemporary artists are also inspired by the hand that allows a dialogue between the collections from the Victor Hugo Museum and those from the FRAC. The hand which gave its name to this exhibition and Mrs. Hugo’s hand, photographed in Jersey by August Vacquerie, participate in this unanticipated but so evident meeting.

“The Poet And The President”


History and literature: the relationships between China and Europe are old and tormented. Imperialism, trade and cultural exchanges have fed the imagination of the Europeans regarding the mysterious and distant China for about one thousand years…

In the 19th Century, with the influence of Orientalism in Western art, Victor Hugo did not resist the attraction to a completely unknown culture. Again, he was the first to publish “Les Orientales”, and to make several allusions to distant countries in his works.

But what about French culture in China? From the Jesuits, who were sent there under the reign of King Louis XV and who revealed Western architecture to the Chinese Emperors, to the trading posts in China to the Opium Wars, how did this mutual fascination grow? What was Victor Hugo’s influence on the fascination of Chinese people with France in the 19th Century and what about it today?

Thanks to Victor Hugo’s House in Paris, his exile home in Hauteville (Guernsey) and some Chinese partners like the Canton Museum, which all lent some of his works, a whole part of our quite unknown history is now unveiled.