Taiwanese artist Wu Shih-hung (吳識鴻) was awarded The Raymond Leblanc Prize in Belgium on Sep. 10 for his comic work "Storms over Hills and Ocean (山風海雨)," adapted from writer Yang Mu's (楊牧) autobiography of the same name, making him the first Taiwanese and non-European to win the award.
Minister of Culture Lee Yung-te expressed his congratulations and gratitude to Wu Shih-hung for using comics to strengthen Taiwan's international recognition, and help highlight the potential of Taiwanese comic and literature. Lee hopes that more Taiwanese creators will contribute to diversifying comics themes, and in turn forge a new image of a diverse Taiwan.
Wu Shih-hung once participated in the "The Inspired Island (他們在島嶼寫作)" documentary series on literary masters. In the documentary "The Man behind the Book (尋找背海的人)" about the novelist Wang Wen-hsing (王文興), Wu portrays many of the imageries found in the novelist's books through different animated short films, interspersed with fragments of an interview.
Last year, Wu undertook the challenge of retelling the poet Yang Mu's work "Storms over Hills and Ocean" through comics. He used his extensive experience of creating images and animation to depict classic literary works, and thereby introduced a new style and poetic expression into Taiwan's comics industry.
The Ministry of Culture pointed out that Taiwan has an abundance of unique cultural features, with comic creators emerging in large numbers under an unrestrained creative environment, and repeatedly winning important international awards. This award once again demonstrates an international acceptance towards Taiwanese comics and its creative potential.
In the future, MOC will continue to invest in the development of Taiwan's comics industry, cooperate with the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) to promote the expansion of Taiwan’s comics market, cultivate talents, and enhance the industry's ecosystem. It is hoped that "Taiwanese comics" will become another key hallmark of Taiwan’s culture.