Award-winning comic artist Ruan Guang-min (阮光民) will return to his hometown in Douliu City, Yunlin County with "Yong-Jiu Grocery Store," a special exhibition showcasing original manuscripts, illustrations, and adaptions of his original comics. The exhibition, which will take place at the Douliu Picture Book Library from Nov. 15 through Dec. 15, will be accompanied by drawing workshops for local students.
The exhibition is named after his 2016 eponymous comic on a warm, touching story of everyday life in rural Taiwan that was inspired from Ruan's own childhood memories. Ruan was raised in Douliu City's Jiaodong Village where his grandfather owned a local grocery store, and "Yong-Jiu Grocery Store (用九柑仔店)" is a story of a young man returning to his hometown and reviving an old store, finding happiness in the process. It is a successful and original piece that has since been adapted for TV.
This is Ruan's second book to be adapted into a well-received television series, following his previous work "Dong-Huachun Barbershop (東華春理髮廳)." In addition to being commended by major comic awards such as the Golden Comic Awards (GCA), Ruan has been invited to attend many other international comic exhibitions and cultural exchanges. This exhibition is especially meaningful for Ruan, as he looks forward to sharing his art and passion with his hometown.
The exhibition will be showcasing 20 of Ruan's works, giving readers and fans a chance to enjoy his exquisite drawing style and experience his captivating comics. During the exhibition, Douliu Picture Book Library will also display many other original Taiwanese comics and GCA-winning works for readers to browse. On Nov. 23 and 24, the library will hold drawing workshops directed by Ruan and acclaimed animator Li Zi-qiang (李子強) as well.
"Yong-Jiu Grocery Store" is among the many GCA-winning works promoted by the Ministry of Culture to enhance the visibility of original Taiwanese comics. To encourage interdisciplinary adaptation of Taiwanese comics, the Ministry also holds matchmaking events for copyright negotiations and funding opportunities to help integrate comics with other mediums such as film, television, animation, theater, and gaming.
Idol drama "Yong-Jiu Grocery Store" debuted amid much fanfare in August this year on television networks including Sanlih Corporation (SET TV), Chinese Television System (CTS), and Star Chinese Channel. It is also available through online streaming services including iQiyi, Line TV, and Fox+.