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Online illustration exhibit sends Taiwan's greetings across borders

One of the illustrations displayed at the exhibition (Home Town Taiwan photo)

One of the illustrations displayed at the exhibition (Home Town Taiwan photo)

From a crowded Taipei MRT train to a hustling claw machine store, quintessential Taiwanese scenery has become the source of greetings to the world through the eyes of 33 local artists who hope the scenes will comfort people during the difficult time of the COVID-19 pandemic.

An exhibit of online illustrations called "Home Town Taiwan" which opened in Taipei this month and will run to Nov. 25, will feature the illustrators' works inspired by their lives in Taiwan.

The illustrations are also meant to spark a discussion about the meaning of "home" in the pandemic.

It is hoped that the show will allow people from around the world to get a taste of Taiwan's charm and distinctive scenery without the need to travel, said the event's organizer, the Ministry of Culture.

The event may also soothe many homesick Taiwanese who cannot return home because of COVID-19, it said.

Originally slated to open in the middle of this year in the Taiwan Academy in Houston, the bilingual exhibition was forced to go virtual due to the pandemic, the ministry said.

In the online "showrooms," illustrators provide their reflections on both the physical and psychological distance between people as a response to the current situation with the pandemic.

For instance, a picture named "A Dream of Taipei MRT" depicts a tuxedo cat surrounded by a flock of flamingos on the train, with the illustrator Croter (洪添賢) asking the viewers:

"Perhaps you feel the ordinary days we used to live have now become a surreal dream? However, do not get frustrated. As long as there is hope and we don't fall asleep, everything will turn better one day."

Meanwhile, the artwork by Lin Jia Dong (林家棟), which shows a boy wearing a mask enjoying himself in a claw machine store, brings people a smile.

There are also other snapshots depicting people's lifestyles in Taiwan, including a stroll in the flower market before the Lunar New Year, and workers working from home with the company of a cat.

"Although Taiwan does not have the romantic vibes of Paris or the chic cityscapes of New York, it is the place we live in. It is our sweet home," said exhibition curator Page Tsou (鄒駿昇).

He said the exhibition seeks to convey the universal image of home, which helps viewers find a peaceful state of mind.
To visit the exhibition, go to