The title of this small, free exhibition stands for “Once Upon A Time”, the first phase of which was held successfully in the 46th Angoulême International Comics Festival in France in January this year. Hong Kong has the largest French community in Asia, with over 25,000 French citizens, so there’s an appetite by Francophones and Francophiles alike to learn more about French bandes dessinées.

Some space is given over to exhibited artworks, including large-scale prints of Stéphane Levallois’ Léonard 2 Vinci (2019), as well as cabinets of his cutesy, 3D Toxic Candies. But for the most part, this exhibition is more like a library or reading room, with books chained to walls and tables, for visitors to peruse.

One of the most enchanting works is Brecht Evens’ Les Rigoles (2018), in which dreamy, hyper-colourised double page paintings alternate with small panels densely packed with text. There’s no particular story, or even chapter divides, but the work slowly moves from the real world into the mythological and abstract.

A bunch of free events are also taking place, in English, Cantonese and French, for budding artists and writers. The exhibition itself isn’t vastly more comprehensive than the gift shop which attaches it, but interesting nonetheless to highlight the Hong Kong — French connection.

Continuing at the Hong Kong Arts Centre until 3 September 2019.

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