Japanese ambigram designer reveals new work for Taiwan's Hualien Earthquake

Japanese artist Issei Nomura created a new poster to express his best wishes for Taiwan


TAIPEI (Taiwan News) -- Japanese artist Issei Nomura posted his newest work, whose red kanji can be read differently from either rightside-up or upside-down as “Taiwan (臺灣) ” or alternately “Cheer on (加油) .” The poster expresses his best wishes for Taiwan after a deadly magnitude 6.0 earthquake struck Hualien in eastern Taiwan on Feb. 6.

The ambigram can be read as “Taiwan (臺灣) ” when it is read left to right, and if you flip the poster on its side and read it top to bottom, it turns into “cheer on” (加油). In the artist’s post, he wrote: “I'm sorry for the victims of the earthquake in Taiwan. Please stand up.”

Ambigram is a calligraphy trick, in which a word or a phrase retains meaning when viewed or interpreted from two of more directions, or orientations.

The Japanese artist made a stir on the Internet earlier in January for two ambigram posters advertising a jet ski race, one can be interpreted from alternate directions as either “challenge (挑戰) ” or “strongest (最強),” while another can be read as “victory(勝利)” or ”battlefield (戰場).”