2015年1月28日 星期三

The Strangers in Formosa trailer

The Strangers in Formosa

Hundreds of years ago, Taiwan was known to the Portuguese sailors as "Formosa" (meaning beautiful island in Portuguese).

For centuries, Taiwan has received those foreign to this piece of land from immigrated Chinese People to Dutch traders, from British missionaries to Japanese soldiers, from Dutch doctors who served aboard the ships to expatriate workers in this new century, including migrant mothers… Generations of foreigners of different nationalities visited Formosa for different reasons. They also left their footprints and legacy on this island, enriching its social landscape and experiences. Some even have become stories and legends.

For the key vision of the Taiwan Pavilion this year, we chose to use images of "silly barbarians shouldering pillars of temples" quite commonly seen in temples in central and southern Taiwan. Soldiers and ship traders working for the Dutch East India Company once cruising proudly across the Taiwan Strait hundreds of years ago are now lowered in a joking manner to barbarians at temples of folk religion in Taiwan carrying pillars. Whether they were westerners on ships that conquered Taiwan and Asia by force or antagonists that lost their battles in folk religions, they all have become interesting legends when placed in the perspective of history.

From War to God, From Money to Love

War, religion, money, and love can more or less account for visits paid by strangers to the island of Formosa.

War: In every war from fighting over the rule of fort Zeelandia between the Dutch and a Ming-loyal Zheng family in the 17th century, to the operations led by French Admiral Courbet involving his Far East Squadron to attack Keelung in the 19th century, as well as the confrontation between the United States and Japan during World War II in the 20th century, foreigners brought from different countries either triumphed or perished here.

Religion: In addition to their missionary work, Western priests in Christian, Catholic churches or of all denominations have helped establish schools, health care network, and even a variety of interesting buildings on the island. In the aboriginal tribes on the east coast of Taiwan, one can still see churches full of imagination. High schools, universities, and hospitals run by churches can also be found everywhere.

Money: As the largest ethnic group of Taiwanese Han Chinese, Min Nan (Southern Fujian) people were called "sangley," or businessmen, in the 17th and 18th centuries overseas. Doing business and trading has been in the blood of those living in Taiwan. Involvement of foreigners, including traders from Japan, the Dutch East India Company, tea merchants from Scotland, and many more, has jointly accomplished a prosperous golden age of "Made in Taiwan."

Love: Love binds foreigners and strangers with this island. It encourages Taiwanese people to pursue transnational marriage. Such theme is reflected in a Taiwanese folk song depicting love affairs between a Dutch doctor and a local Taiwanese woman in the old days as well as in the marriage featuring migrant brides in the new century. We simply hope that love will bring about happiness.

Six Comics Artists in Search for Strangers

In 2015, six artists from Taiwan take part in Angoulême International Comics Festival. With different perspectives and stories, they paint what they see as strangers in Formosa.

With science fiction comics, both Chang Shen and Ah Tui present people's curiosity toward a foreign land and the love for homeland.

Lung-Chieh Li and Iron re-enact historical war scenes because legends and religion were roads strangers took.

Angoulême's first timer Kiya Chang, with her dedicated tea merchant, Todd, from Scotland, reproduces the beautiful views of Taiwan from a hundred years ago.

Sean Chuang delivers Taiwanese customs and emotions through a French son-in-law, who attends a Chinese New Year's eve dinner in the countryside.

Welcome to Formosa. At some point in our lives, we are all strangers foreign to somewhere.

2015年1月22日 星期四

2015 Angoulême Young Talents: Pei-Hsiu CHEN

self-portrait by Pei-Hsiu CHEN

Born in 1986 and a graduate of National Taiwan University’s Fine Arts Program, Chen is a freelance illustrator who enjoys living with the company of her dogs and cats. Her work can be found in numerous Taiwanese children’s books, magazines, picture books, and often depict and amplify the trivial things of everyday life. She usually writes the narrative first before she illustrates.

She likes an austere style using strong lines and colors, and aims to one day be able to simultaneously write with her left hand and illustrate with her right hand.

Achievements and Awards

2008 Won Third Place in the Taichung Harbor Art Exhibition's Seventh National 100 Best Oil Paintings Exhibit
2008 Won First Place in the National Taiwan Normal University Fine Arts Western Painting Exhibit
2013 Featured in APPortfolio's Asia Youth Creative Collection Vol.3


2013 I'm Not a Freak -- Chiuko Publishing
2013 Village Migration -- Taoyuan City Government Department of Cultural Affairs
2014 The Old Street Creek -- Taoyuan City Government Department of Cultural Affairs 2014 “Trouble in Travel” Short Comic -- Printed in Taiwan Comix8, Southward, and Hand

Dentist by Pei-Hsiu CHEN



2015年1月13日 星期二

Comic Artist from TAIWAN: PUSH COMIC (Ah Tui) 阿推

self portrait by PUSH COMIC (Ah Tui)

Born in Hsinchu, PUSH is an important, experienced comic artist in Taiwan. He has served as a comic editor in a publishing firm, an art editor in a record company, and an assistant professor in a university. Currently he is undertaking multimedia projects, doing toy design, writing for columns, reviewing competing works for visual and comic contests, and working for NIKE collection exhibition as creative director and curator, who launched “Comix Happy” Magazine in 2007. He has also worked with many globally renowned name brands and media (such as VOGUE, GQ, ELLE, LV, hTC, G-shock, Adidas, and so on).

In 1995, his work BALÉZOwas carried by French comic magazine KAMÉHA, marking the first Taiwanese comic work in Europe. His alternative science fiction with BD comic art style captured numerous French readers’ heart. In addition, in 2005, an Italian publisher (per questa edizione Edizioni BD) published the Italian version of his PROMISED ISLAND Part 1-3, which were first published in 1998-1999, creating a new era in the Taiwanese comics circles. The codes and symbols hidden in his comics have become a favorite game of decoding for fans of PUSH.


Awards and exhibitions:

● 2012, 2013, 2015 representative artists at the Taiwan Pavilion of the Angoulême International Comics Festival

● 2012: Invited to have his solo exhibition at Montpellier Les Nouveaux Mangakas and was awarded“PRIX SPÉCIAL DU JURY” of the year as selected by Montpellier Journalists Association.

● 2012: Invited to have his solo exhibition at Chamery’s International Comics Festival

● 2013: Invited to participate in the A Parallel Tale: Taipei in 80s x Hong Kong in 90s exhibition co-organized by the Cultural Affairs Department of the New Taipei City Government, Dala Publishing, and the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

● 2014: Employed as Hsinchu County Affairs Advisor; in charge of mascot production, overall visual design, and solo exhibition for Taoyuan International Animation & Comics Exhibition in July 2014.

● 2014: Assessor of a design contest for a mascot representing the National Taiwan Museum of Fine Arts.

● 2014: Invited by Guangzhou Comicfans Culture to serve as an assessor in the final assessment committee of the 7th China International Comics Festival and the 11th China Animation & Comics Competition Golden Dragon Award.

Selected Works:

● 1985 太極符 The Symbol of Taichi / TTV Cultural Enterprise Ltd.

● 1986 九命人 Nine Lives Man / China Times Publishing Co.

● 1993 新樂園 New Paradise / China Times Publishing Co.

● 1994 公的.母的 Cock-and-Hen / China Times Publishing Co.

● 1995 超人巴力入 Balezo / China Times Publishing Co.

● 1996 殺人免責權 Killing Bad Guys as Your Wish! / China Times Publishing Co.

● 1996 美工科學生 An Art Student, A Dog That Hates Art, and A Cat That Loves Art / China Times Publishing Co.

● 1998-99 承諾島 Promised Island 1-3 / Sharp Point Publishing Co.

● 2010 The 18 Bronzemen@Copy Original x Push Comic

"Memories of the 80s" by Push Comic

"Memories of the 80s" by Push Comic

Comic Artist from TAIWAN: LI Lung-Chieh 李隆杰

self portrait by Li Lung-Chieh

Real name and year of birth unknown. A depicter of the depressed human populace, this mysterious comic artist is quiet to the point of being easily forgotten. He won the First Annual Ching Win Comic Award for Best New Artist in 1998 and published other short comics works between the period of time when he won the Second Annual Ching Win Comic Award for Best New Artist as well as the Third, Twelfth, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Tong Li Short Comics Awards. After winning the Government Information Office of Executive Yuan's Graphic Novel Awards in 2008, he published his first comic book Roachgirl. In 2010, he published his second comic book Animal Impact independently and in 2011 was nominated for the Golden Comic Best Youth Comic Award at the 2011 International Festival of Comics of Algeria.

After publishing Taiwan Super Riders in 2011, he became a representative artist at the Taiwan Pavilion of the Angoulême International Comics Festival. In 2012, he was invited to present his work at the Planète Manga Workshop held in Centre Georges Pompidou in France. His latest work in 2013 Taiwan Determination: Legend of Beigang, also his masterpiece so far, was adapted from historical facts as well as anecdotes in Taiwan, with local customs integrated in it and featuring bold and explicit fighting scenes.



.2006 Best New Artist at the 2nd Annual Ching-Win Comic Awards

.2007~2009 Nominee at the 12th, 13th, and 14th Annual Tong Li Short Comics Awards

.2008 Government Information Office’s Best Drama Comic “Superior” Award

.2011 Nominee at the 4th Annual International Festival of Comics of Algeria

.2012 Representative artist at the Taiwan Pavilion of the Angoulême International Comics Festival

.2012 Representative artist at the Planète Manga Workshop, Centre Georges Pompidou in France

Selected Works:

.2008 覺醒人間-螂女飛翔傳 Roachgirl / Tong li Publishing Co.

.2010 動物衝擊頻道 Animal Impact / Elephant White Cultural Enterprise Co.

.2011 台灣超級機車 Taiwan Super Riders / Elephant White Cultural Enterprise Co.

.2013 新世紀北港神拳 Taiwan Determination : Legend of Beigang / Gaea Books

Cover of Taiwan Determination : Legend of Beigang by LI Ling-Chieh
Taiwan Determination : Legend of Beigang by LI Ling-Chieh

Taiwan Determination : Legend of Beigang by LI Ling-Chieh

Comic Artist from TAIWAN: Iron 鐵柱

self portrait by Iron

Real name CHO Yi-Pin. Born in Taichung, Taiwan. Graduated from the Graduate School of Design at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology. Came on the scene in 1995 when he received the “Golden High Award” in the China Times Comic Challenge. In 1998, began releasing his long comic work Crown Prince in the monthly comic magazine Dragon Teenager published by Tong Li Publishing Co.. Crown Prince finds a balance between a dark drawing style and narrative fantasy and is Iron’s representative work. In the past two years, he has joined TX compilation albums to present another, more unrestrained type of creative style.

His latest work Quantum and Natural Selection serializing in Tong Li’s bimonthly Dragon Youth depicts how a robot girl named “Human Waste” and a young man called “Momotarō Final Program” jointly embrace the approaching “darkness” in the timeless Earth in a doomsday of the science fictional world. The dispirited and dark style employed in the work is strong and fascinating.


E-mail: icezhuo@gmail.com


.China Times Comic Challenge “Golden High Award”

Selected Works:

.1998-2000 太子爺 Crown Prince 1-4 / Tong Li Publishing Co.

.夢還未醒 The Dream Has Yet Awaken

.如何控制老虎自我膨脹 How to Control Tiger's Self-Inflation

.八個男人 8 Man

.青春期 Adolescence

.2014 無量天擇 Quantum and Natural Selection (serializing in Tong Li’s bimonthly Dragon Youth)
cover of "Crown Prince" by Iron

"Crown Prince" by Iron

"Crown Prince" by Iron

Comic Artist from TAIWAN: Sean CHUANG 小莊

self portrait by Sean CHUANG

Sean Chuang has 20 years of experience as an advertising director, directing more than 400 works. He was awarded the Times Awards and the Times Asia-Pacific Award multiple times. As a well-known Taiwanese advertisement director, his works span China, Singapore and Japan. In 1997 he published Film Maker’s Notes recording work and life which was a hot seller with 18 reprints, becoming a classic and required reading in the industry and related school departments. In 2010, he finished his second work The Window, Taiwan’s first graphic novel, earning the Government Information Office’s Best Graphic Novel Award, and in 2011 a Spanish translation was published.

Still active in advertising circles, Director Sean Chuang continues to shoot videos and draw comics. In 2013 Film Maker’s Notes (2014 Edition) and ‘80s Diary in Taiwan vol.1 were published, recording the life and culture of Taiwan in the 1980s and 1990s, as well as the joys and the sorrows of advertisers. ‘80s Diary in Taiwan vol. 2 is scheduled to be published in 2015.

Awards and Exhibitions:

.2009 The Window was awarded the Government Information Office’s Best Graphic Novel Award

.2012 representative artists at the Taiwan Pavilion of the Angoulême International Comics Festival

.2013 Invited to join the Independent Comics Artist Exhibition at the Animation-Comic-Game Hong Kong.

.2013 One of the participants from the Taiwan Group at the Belgium Brussels Comics Festival

.2013 invited to join the A Parallel Tale: Taipei in 80s x Hong Kong in 90s exhibition held by the Cultural Affairs Department of the New Taipei City Government, Dala Publishing, and the Hong Kong Arts Centre.

.2014 representative artists at the Taiwan Pavilion of the Angoulême International Comics Festival

.2014 ‘80s Diary in Taiwan vol. 1: Golden Comic Awards “Best Young Male Comic Award” and “Comic of the Year Award”

Selected Works:

.1997 廣告人手記 Film Maker's Notes / Dala Publishing Co

.2011 窗The Window / Dala Publishing Co.

.2013 80年代事件簿1 ‘80s Diary in Taiwan vol. 1 / Dala Publishing Co.

.2015 80年代事件簿 2 ‘80s Diary in Taiwan vol. 2 / Dala Publishing Co. (coming soon)

80s Diary in Taiwan vol. 2 by Sean Chuang

80s Diary in Taiwan vol. 2 by Sean Chuang

Comic Artist from TAIWAN: Kiya CHANG 張季雅

Born into a tea farming family at Meishan of Chiayi in 1988, Kiya Chang has a cat in suit. Making closets is her hobby. Currently Chang is in the field of comics and illustration.

Chang was awarded “Ching Win New Artist Award” and “Tong Li Short Comics Award” in 2006. In 2007, she submitted her work to “Challenger Monthly” and made debut in the magazine with the “Take Me to Sports Field” series. The artist specializes in depicting Taiwan’s people-to-people humanistic, cultural and natural landscapes in the mid-19th century with a detailed, sophisticated and vivid style, with most of the works so far centering around the theme of tea. Chang especially loves depicting how John Dodd, a British tea businessman dubbed as “Father of Oolong Tea in Taiwan” along with a Chinese merchant Li Chun-sheng promoted Oolong Tea to the world, including the way how tea is produced, manufactured and tasted in the works, which is a rarely-seen practice among peer artists. This series of works was compiled into Formosa Oolong Tea and published after it had been first carried on Creative Comics Collection in 2010. The artist also published Tea Farmer’s Anecdotes for sale at comics exhibitions.



.2014 Formosa Oolong Tea: Golden Comic Awards “Best New Comic Artist Award”

Selected Works:

.2013: 異人茶跡 Formosa Oolong Tea / Gaea Books

.2012: 茶商與買辦Tea Businessman and Merchantt and Businessman / Self-published

.2010-2011: 茶家趣聞繪1-3Tea Farmer’s AnecdotesVol. 1-3 / Self-published

Cover of "Formosa Oolong Tea" by Kiya CHANG

Interior page of "Formosa Oolong Tea" by Kiya CHANG

Interior page of "Formosa Oolong Tea" by Kiya CHANG