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Kuala Lumpur | 'Tea Philo – Cherng'

  • Date:2017-08-19
Kuala Lumpur | 'Tea Philo – Cherng'

Cherng (楊承霖), a Taiwanese illustrator known for his black-and-white tapir character Laimo, shared his experience of becoming a successful online illustrator-turned-entrepreneur at a Tea Philo salon session held in Malaysia on Aug. 19.

Born in 1990, Cherng is an iconic artist who rose to online fame in Taiwan. His black-and-white whimsical illustrations with humorous written text have garnered him more than one million followers on Facebook.

Titled "New Definition of Laimo - Journey of Character Creation in the Online Social Networking Era,” the session was opened by Malaysian illustrator Lim Heng-swee (林行瑞) and attended by more than 100 fans of Cherng.

Making fun of himself by saying his motto is "to accomplish nothing,” Cherng shared that he has only enjoyed drawing since a young age, and thus chose to study digital media design at Ming Chuan University.

During his academic years, Cherng established a Facebook page in 2012 to publish his illustrative works featuring "Laimo (來貘)” an unmotivated persona physically inspired by the animal tapir. To his surprise, his creation gained popularity and led Cherng to continue his creative ventures.

The unique and resonating stories of the beloved Laimo character led to collaboration opportunities with numerous Taiwanese brands, including Taipei Metro, TATUNG, MORINAGA, and CTBC Bank. Moreover, Cherng became one of the first Taiwanese artists who launched original "stickers” on the instant messenger LINE app.

In 2015, Cherng entered his first overseas market after being invited by Japan's Seibu Railway and Sanrio Co., Ltd to create crossover collections. Cherng noted that it is of personal significance for him to join the Japanese market as he grew up reading Japanese manga.

As 2017 marks the 5th anniversary of Cherng's career, he has launched a new work titled "New Definition of Laimo (來貘新定義)” and an accompanying exhibition to reinterpret the characters he has created in the past, including Laimo, Meijen (美珍), and Green Bean Soup Girl (綠豆湯女孩), and to develop new stories with more depth.

By the end of the session, Cherng encouraged young people to pursue their dreams, stating that one can start by developing habits and skills while working full-time to achieve financial independence, after which one may pursue a different professional course.

Co-organized by the Ministry of Culture and the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Malaysia, the Tea Philo salon series kicked off earlier this April by inviting outstanding Taiwanese artists and professionals to share their stories in Kuala Lumpur each month.

The next session will feature Puyuma author Sun Ta-chuan (孫大川), who will share his views on aboriginal heritage and culture, next month in Kuala Lumpur.