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Illustrator | Jimmy Liao

  • Date:2016-09-29
Illustrator | Jimmy Liao

  • Chinese Name: 廖福彬
  • Born: Nov. 15, 1958
  • Birthplace: Yilan County (Eastern Taiwan)
  • Did You Know That …?
  • "Turn Left Turn Right (向左走向右走),” one of Liao's most iconic works that tells an urban love story about how destiny brings together a man and a woman who always miss the chance to meet each other, took inspiration from Liao's own story of how he met his wife.

Jimmy Liao is a prolific illustrator and author whose works are celebrated for their expressive and heart-warming imagery. Within two decades, he has published more than 40 books, of which over 10 foreign language editions are available around the world.

Before Liao rose to prominence as an illustrator, he used to work for an advertising agency and drew illustrations for publishers and magazines after receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Chinese Culture University.

Liao started his career as a professional illustrator after publishing "Secrets in the Woods (森林裡的秘密)” and "A Fish with a Smile (微笑的魚)” in 1998, both of which were critically acclaimed and considered the best children's books of that year.

Known for his poetic language and whimsical images, Liao crafts each of his picture books to become a journey that can be shared by both children and adult readers. Liao leads readers to think about life and love by exploring the imaginary world he created with evocative illustrations.

Some of Liao's works, including "Turn Left Turn Right,” "The Starry Starry Night (星空),” and "Mr. Wing (幸運兒),” have been adapted into films, musicals, and TV series. "The Sounds of Colors (地下鐵),” a book that explores the world from a blind girl's perspective, has also been adapted for the silver screen.

Liao's illustrations also appear as public art in Taiwan. The Yilan-based Jimmy Parks, for example, is the first park in Taiwan featuring installations of scenes and characters from Liao's works. A bus containing decorations from "When the Moon Forgot (月亮忘記了)” is also installed near Taipei 101 as an open invitation for the public to enter the magical world of a boy and his moon.

As a cancer survivor, Liao delivers positive messages and brings joy to readers beyond picture books. "Yilan Happy Station (宜蘭幸福轉運站),” a cultural and creative center for the disabled, has been established by Jimmy S.P.A. Co., Ltd in 2016. The repurposed bus station aims to empower local communities by combining Liao's fame with regional creativity.