Two acclaimed literary artists from Taiwan - writer Liu Ka-hsiang (劉克襄) and graphic designer Sean Chuang (小莊) - will be sharing aspects of Taiwan literature and culture at the University of London from Feb. 9 through 15.
The School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Center of Taiwan Studies, one of the world's leading institutions for Taiwan-related academic events, will host four seminars titled "A Genetic Mutation of the Graphic Novel,” "Taiwan's Adolescence,” "Gifts from the Black-faced Spoonbills,” and "15 Little Planets.”
Chuang, 49, is a seasoned commercial director turned graphic artist. After representing Taiwan at the Angouleme International Comics Festival for a couple of years, he became one of the featured artists in the Louvre's first-ever comic collection exhibition "L'OUVRE 9.”
At the SOAS Center for Taiwan Studies, Chuang will first explain why he chose to omit all dialogue from his fully colored "alternative” graphic novels on Feb. 9, especially given Japan's influence on Taiwanese comics, then divulge how his adolescent years were shaped by the lifting of martial law in the 1980s on Feb. 10.
Liu, 60, is a pioneer of nature writing in Taiwan and twice winner of the Taipei International Book Exhibition Book Prize. His topics cover eco-tourism, wild fruits and vegetables, ancient hiking trails, small town folklore, and his ultimate passion - birds.
On Feb. 13, Liu will revisit his 1994 publications that raised awareness for the black-faced spoonbills that weather winter in Taiwan and discuss a model of coexistence that balances tourism with conservation. He will then share stories of living with nature from a hidden mountain village he stumbled onto twenty years ago on Feb. 15.
2/9 | ‘The Window - A Genetic Mutation of the Graphic Novel'
How is it that in Taiwan, an environment deeply influenced by the manga of Japan, Sean Chuang has spent a decade giving birth to an alternative graphic novel in full-color and completely without dialogue? What on Earth is this all about?
2/10 | ‘A 1980s Chronicle - Taiwan's Adolescence'
Suddenly, the police didn't care what songs we sang and danced to. All of the things that young people did on foreign TV became possible for us in Taiwan. It was as if Taiwan had entered a kind of vigorous adolescence. And this so happened to be the time of our adolescence, too.
2/13 | ‘Gifts from the Black-faced Spoonbills'
No more than 3,000 black-faced spoonbills remain in the world today. In 1994, the author became one of the first to raise the public's awareness by publishing his nature writing about the bird's grave situation in the media.
2/15 | ‘Context of a Mountain Home in the Book Entitled 15 Little Planets'
Twenty years ago, the author came upon a mountain village in the suburbs and became friends with the local people. Since this encounter, he has taken many fellow mountain climbers there to volunteer as well as learn about farming.