At the Japan Pop Show in Niort, a wizard sculptor of heroes

From the opening of the second edition of the Japan Pop Show in Niort, this Saturday, May 18, 2024 at 9 a.m., many fans flocked to the entrance to the Noron exhibition center, starting with those, numerous, who had taken care to buy their VIP tickets on the Internet. Thus Coralie, from Niort, and her friend “Ciel”, from La Mothe-Saint-Héray: bulimics of Japanese culture (Coralie discovered it thanks to Japanese neighbors and Ciel with Vietnamese bosses when she did her apprenticeship) , they did not hesitate to pay €85 each to treat themselves to the “Pass Sumi” entry ticket (the best for enthusiasts like them) which offers two-day access with collector gifts: posters, mini katana , Japan Pop Show t-shirt, magnet, key ring, manga, lucky bracelet…

Bulimics of Japanese culture, Coralie, from Niort, and her friend Ciel, would not have missed this meeting for the world.
© (Photo NR, Emmanuel Touron)

Once past the entrance (and the almost obligatory photo in front of the – fake but very well imitated – cherry blossoms), enthusiasts have at their disposal an endless field of stands to unearth what is missing from their collection: mangas, figurines, video games, posters, original drawings, swords, stuffed animals… There is something for all tastes and budgets.

Amandine came from La Rochelle with her two daughters, Anna and Giulia, who are passionate about manga. In front of a Japanese cherry tree in bloom, they pose for Nicole, Amandine’s mother.
© (Photo NR, Emmanuel Touron)

Obviously, the aisles are perpetually bustling with patrols of costumed visitors, fans of cosplay.

Stars Wars cosplayers are always impressive when they go on patrol!

Stars Wars cosplayers are always impressive when they go on patrol!
© (Photo NR, Emmanuel Touron)

And, on stage, the dancers launch into choreographies, each crazier than the last, while others try their hand at karaoke.

Karaoke sessions always attract the best singers!

Karaoke sessions always attract the best singers!
© (Photo NR, Emmanuel Touron)

The mineral delicacy of Pierre Delinfini

But what also makes the Japan Pop Show in Niort so charming are the opportunities to encounter totally unexpected worlds.

Thus, during this second edition, we meet an astonishing and endearing character, a “multiversal” sorcerer (yes, he is able to move instantly from one world to another thanks to his cut cape custom): Frédéric Emery, “sculptor of heroes”.

A native of Niort now based in Chiché, he created Pierre Delinfini, his company-pseudonym, a few months ago, returning from a burn-out which had left him in the lurch after twenty-five years of teaching . It was in working with stone that he found a form of salvation.

Batman in Thénac stone

He first looked in a book for the basic techniques, he used the energy he had left to learn everything else, trying his hand at the (delicate) creation of a bust of Batman whose posture spoke to him: “He had this slightly closed face, his head tilted to the side… He made me think of myself, he reminded me of the dejection I was in then…”

The very first sculpture by Frédéric Emery, a Batman whose head posture, as if dejected, resonated within him when he was not going strong.

The very first sculpture by Frédéric Emery, a Batman whose head posture, as if dejected, resonated within him when he was not going strong.
© (Photo NR, Emmanuel Touron)

Then, always faithful to this soft stone of Thénac (the one from which the port of La Rochelle or Fort Boyard are made), Frédéric built his subjects around the emotions which crossed him: the serenity after he left work in which he no longer recognized himself, omnipotence and rebirth as he regained strength and confidence… At each of his stages and to express the state of mind in which he found himself then, he borrowed the image of a hero, drawn from Marvel or Star Wars… “This kind of work doesn’t exist anywhere”he assures.

Frédéric Emery, hero sculptor and multiversal sorcerer, presents his work on the universes of Star Wars, Marvel and other sagas at the Japan Pop Show in Niort.

Frédéric Emery, hero sculptor and multiversal sorcerer, presents his work on the universes of Star Wars, Marvel and other sagas at the Japan Pop Show in Niort.
© (Photo NR, Emmanuel Touron)

He knows that brands tolerate his work since he only creates unique pieces, this exempts him from copyright.

And, to add life and energy to his sculptures, he always calls on the talents of a small armada of craftsmen whom he calls on as needed: blacksmith, lapidary, ceramist or costume designer… He even hired a basket maker so that he makes a Spiderman web out of… braided nettle strands!

In this show where colorful plastic is often king, Frédéric Emery’s creations are a world apart.

Niort Japan pop show, Saturday May 18 (9 a.m.-7 p.m.) and Sunday May 19 (9 a.m.-6:30 p.m.) at the Noron exhibition center. Admission: €12 for one day, €18 for both (€10 and €16) in advance. Free for under 6s, over 65s and people with reduced mobility. Refreshment bar and catering on site.

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