TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Taiwanese artist has created these whimsical designs for a new Taiwanese passport based on the country's famous drink, as legislators and members of the public call for an overhaul of the appearance of the country's passports.
Although there have been campaigns running in Taiwan for a number of years to have the name "Republic of China" removed from Taiwan's passports, the change has become all the more urgent amid the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic as people around the world struggle to differentiate between communist China and Taiwan. On April 20, Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Chung Chia-pin (鍾佳濱) proposed three new designs, one of which includes a cup of bubble tea.
A Hualien-based designer, Yu Yen-chih (游焰熾), took the design a step further by making the background color of the passport remarkably resemble that of milk tea. At the top of the book are the words "Taiwan Passport" with a black tapioca pearl filling the letter "o."
Below are a sea of more black tapioca balls, just like Taiwan's ubiquitous, sacchariferous beverage. A second version created by Yu shows the word "Passport" at the top with a tapioca pearl nestled inside the letter "o," resembling a bullseye.
Midway down the passport is an image of a cup of bubble tea with the telltale thick straw protruding out the top. At the bottom is the word "Taiwan."
The designs, titled "Bubble Tea Passport" (珍奶護照), drew much praise from Taiwanese netizens, many of whom are influenced by Japan's kawaii (cute) culture.
"This is too cute."
"Please come out with a passport cover first, I want to buy one!"
"I think it's very fashionable to match with suede or leather materials."
"I think this design is very good. Many foreign friends don't know that pearl milk tea comes from Taiwan.... I have to explain it every time. This is good for those who cannot speak English well."
"Bubble Tea Passport." (Facebook, @cementcraft)