Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun signed a memorandum of understanding with Taichung City Mayor Lin Chia-lung (林佳龍) on Oct. 28 to pool together resources for the preservation, display, and promotion of Taiwan's original comics.
The MOU was signed on behalf of comic artists including Hong De-lin (洪德麟), Hsiao Yen-zhong (蕭言中), Hong Yu-fu (洪育府), and IRON (鐵柱) as well as comics collectors Ji Hou-bo (紀厚博) and legislators Chang Liao Wan-chien (張廖萬堅) and Huang Kuo-shu (黃國書) in Taichung City.
The National Comics Museum is scheduled to be established in 2020 to promote Taiwanese comics as well as preserve and revitalize related artifacts and documents.
Comprising of an international comics think tank and research center, a library, classrooms, interactive exhibitions, screening rooms, creative shops, and archives, the museum aims to revive Taiwan's comics heritage and introduce local original works to the world.
Minister Cheng noted that the comics format is a crucial cultural medium for it embodies imagery, text, and storyline. Thus, one of the Ministry's policies on comics is to construct archives and promote added-value applications of related historical documents.
Preparation work for museum facilities and personnel recruitment are now underway to create a long-term home for preserving and displaying Taiwan's comics. The Ministry will also assist the Taichung City Government in organizing related events and promote the local comics industry, the Minister added.
The Ministry is also conducting surveys and research projects to collect information related to comics across Taiwan, and calls for submission or donation of historical documents to delineate the full history of Taiwanese comics.
In addition, the Ministry will cooperate and share resources with local institutions that preserve such historical documents and Taiwanese comics. The National Chiao Tung University, for example, is recognized for its long-term commitment to digitizing original scripts and maintaining a sizeable Taiwanese comics archive.
Moreover, the museum will incorporate augmented and virtual reality technologies to transform historical documents into interactive exhibitions and share its digital resources with users from around the world.
Minister Cheng also thanked the Taichung City Government for providing the land and facilities that made the establishment of the National Comics Museum possible in Taichung.