Tshi (1965-2013)

Oscar Peterson

Oscar Peterson
© Tshi

Internationally renowned film photographer Tshi’s unique and very personal vision always made his work stand out from the rest. Able to see deeply beyond the exterior, Tshi captured his models’ souls by stripping them of their context and celebrity. Tshi gifted us artists’ humanity.

Born Éric-Charles Simonneau in France in 1965, Tshi first studied philosophy and travelled extensively before deciding to settle in Quebec in 1990. From then on he began taking pictures and covered the cultural and music scene for the press. Additionally, he designed numerous album covers. He is the recipient of many awards, including two National Magazine Awards. Also a videographer, he is the recipient of the 1998 Felix Award for video of the year from the ADISQ for Jean Leloup’s Le monde est à pleurer. He also shot videos for Lhasa de Sela et Bet.e & Stef. In 2001, Tshi joined the Parisian photo agency, VU, for which he worked from his Montreal studio.

Tshi returned to La Rochelle, France, in 2011 to spend his mother’s final days with her. His life abruptly ended there in April 2013.

Collaborator for the daily newspaper, Le Devoir, and great lover of jazz, Tshi followed the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal very closely. He was given whole page spreads in Le Devoir for his work. Among musicians immortalized by Tshi are Leonard Cohen, Dave Brubeck, Ibrahim Ferrer, Patti Smith, Jean Leloup, Diana Krall, Gilles Vigneault, and Karen Young. In 1999, Tshi was given the chance to capture Oscar Peterson at his home in Mississauga. That photo is particularly poignant and is part of the Festival International de Jazz de Montréal’s permanent collection.