Taiwan on tour: A custom van displays illustrations by 8 Taiwanese artists

For over a century, at the center of geopolitical interests among the world’s great powers, Taiwan has been in the spotlight again for the past few months due to the numerous diplomatic “skirmishes” between China and the United States.
The small island state, which has been declared independent from mainland China since 1949, has never been formally recognized by most countries, which nevertheless regularly undertake trade in the territories of which it is a part, mainly because of its technological industry (it is actually located there, the largest independent semiconductor factory in the world).

Taiwan and its capital de factoHowever, Taipei is also home to a thriving cultural production that – unlike the People’s Republic of China – is free from censorship. In addition to the cinema, which in our part of Italy is also known outside the festival circle, where filmmakers and filmmakers regularly reap awards (a name above all: director Ang Lee), there is another editorial landscape that needs to be discovered, especially as in terms of illustration, and this is the protagonist of a new project born from the idea ofKulturforeningen NOI Andre and of We library in Milan, opened in 2019 in the NoLo district.

(photo: Teo Finazzi | courtesy: Noi Libreria)

Supported by the Taiwanese Ministry of Culture with the support of the Department of Culture at Taipei’s Representative Office in Italy, the initiative is called TATOwhich stands for Taiwan on Tour and consists of a traveling exhibition that, starting from 23 June 2022, will stop at some of the most important Italian festivals in the field of illustration, graphics and publishing.

After the inauguration of 23 (at the Garden of Noi Libreria, in via delle Leghe 18, in Milan) it will move to Vicenza for Illustri (June 25 and 26), from there to Turin for the Graphic Days (17). and September 18), and then in Bologna for the Fruit Exhibition (September 30 – October 2) and again in Milan for BookCity (November 16 – 20), all aboard a vintage van, a stunning 1979 FIAT 238 , which has been adapted in the crew and adapted to house illustrations, books, graphic novels, objects and stationery to buy, in addition to the exhibition itself, with the tables of eight Taiwanese artists: Chia Ying Lin, Chu-li Chen (who is also the author of the van’s “dress”) Hsiao-Chi Chang, Huiyin Hsueh, Lian-An Lin, Pei-Hsiu Chen, Pei-Fen Hsieh And Yi-Wen Huang.

Here is some information about illustrators and some of their works.

Chia Ying Lin

Illustrator and visual creator based in Taipei, she is interested in human behavior, psychology and nature. She worked as a graphic designer in the digital marketing, medical and advertising sector before becoming a freelancer after graduating from Kingston University in London.

Chu-li Chen

She is an illustrator, graphic designer and artist from Taoyuan City. She completed a master’s degree in sequential design and illustration from the University of Brighton, UK. Since 2009, he has worked with both editorial and commercial illustration using collage, engraving and drawing to create warm, textured images. He has also recently started making abstract sculptures. All the illustrations used in the graphic characterization of TATO are his.

Hsiao-Chi Chang

She currently lives in Taipei and has an extravagant and playful style, often inspired by the fun situations that happen to her. What drives her to create is the desire to play and express her feelings. Most of his works are illustrations for children. She usually works with acrylics, watercolors, gouache and digital tools, but she also enjoys experimenting with new techniques.

Huiyin Hsueh

Freelance illustrator who has won many awards, has participated in exhibitions and illustrated books. Love painting, ceramics and all the little things in everyday life. She has a special fondness for trees and succulents and considers herself lucky to be able to live in a suburban house with a large, plant-filled patio in Taoyuan City. For her, it is very fun to be away from city centers and have a “green” lifestyle.

Lian-An Lin

Freelance illustrator from Taipei, she always tries to combine reality and fantasy in her drawings. Loves motivational books, children’s art, old things and walks in the countryside. From all these things he draws inspiration for his work.

Pei-Fen Hsieh

Illustrator and graphic designer grew up in Taipei and currently lives in Pingtung in southern Taiwan. After studying law, she decided to enroll in the Master of Art in Graphic Design at Edinburgh College of Art. For her, it’s more important to have fun making things interesting than to make them look good. Look closely at the little things in everyday life. She loves to combine hand-drawn textured textures and digital collages.

Pei-Hsiu Chen

Originally an archaeological illustrator at Sinica Academy (Taiwan), she now publishes her work in magazines, newspapers and books. His latest titles include The dentist And Relocation of the village.
She was selected for the 2015 Angoulême Award for Young Talents and also spent a residency at the Maison des auteurs in Angoulême.

Yi-Wen Huang

She began her career as an illustrator in 2019. It is important for her to add variety to her work, especially when it comes to creating picture books. In his works, he loves to experiment with different materials and textures. She is convinced that picture books are not only meant for children but also for adults of all ages.

The van

The Fiat 238 model is a medium-sized van, put into production by the Torino-based company in the late 1960s and retired in the early 1980s. It competes with the best-known and most acclaimed Volkswagen T2 in terms of aesthetics, but the graphic design created from Chu-li Chen’s illustrations now makes this 238 a unique, almost museum-like piece. The interior has been freed up to provide space for exhibitors and containers for the exhibited works and for books. A simple project that aims at functionality and rationalization of space to optimize set-up and dismantling times.

Leave a Comment