TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Taiwanese cartoonist Yang Hsin-yi (楊心怡) on Friday (March 5) released his latest and largest creation, which features Taipei's historic Dadaocheng area and notable people from across the globe.
Co-organized by the Chinese Cartoonists Union, I-Mei Foundation for Arts and Education, and the Chiang Wei-shui Cultural Foundation, the exhibition showcases both illustrations and animations to highlight the culture of Dadaocheng.
The press conference promoting Friday's exhibition was attended by Yang, who is also the founder of the cartoonists' union; I-Mei Foods Co. CEO Luis Ko (高志明); and Chiang Chao-gen (蔣朝根), the Chiang Wei-shui Cultural Foundation's executive officer.
Exhibition showcases Yang's work (background) as well as popular I-Mei products. (Taiwan News, Lyla Liu photo)
Yang's detailed, 400-centimeter-long work depicts popular spots on Dadaocheng's two main arteries, Yanping North Road and Dihua Street, along with interesting cartoon characters and an overview of the area's long history.
Yang stated that the illustration is the largest he has ever done and that he spent nearly a year creating it. Before starting on the drawing, he accompanied Chiang Chao-gen on a one-hour tour of Dadaocheng to take notes.
The final product is the result of a digital drawing based on 22 sheets of B4 paper, according to Yang.
In order to bring energy to the historic Datong District locale, the artist creatively added Donald Trump, Taipei Mayor Ko Wen-je (柯文哲), Taiwanese colonial-era democracy leader Jiang Wei-shui (蔣渭水), and other familiar figures to the image.
Animated version of Yang's illustration. (Taiwan News, Lyla Liu photo)
Additionally, Yang teamed up with animator and Chinese Cartoonists Union Chairman Kuo Cheng-hsun (郭正勳) on an animated version of his illustration. This can also be viewed at the venue.
"Looking at my work is similar to sitting in a time machine because all the characters, buildings, and activities presented cross time and countries," said Yang. The playful animation injects the scene with a sense of humor. Trump can be seen saying, "I love Twitter," for example.
Ko stated that 2021 marks 150 years since I-Mei began as a fabric dyeing shop, established by his great-great-grandfather Ko Chih-kuei (高植桂). In 1934, his grandparents opened a bakery named I-Mei on the site of what had previously been Daan Hospital, which was run by Taiwanese Cultural Association founder Chiang Wei-shui.
Ko explained that the company has a strong bond with this land. "Hence, if the country needs us, we will do our best to support it."
"If I-Mei Foods Co. turns 100 and we invite Yang to draw, I imagine everyone in that drawing will be wearing a face mask," said Kao. "I believe art is a unique way to record the marks of each generation.”
The exhibition will run through March 28 at the Taipei City Arts Promotion Office. Admission is free.
From left to right: Taipei City Arts Promotion Office Director Lin Hsin-yao, Yang Hsin-yi, Kuo Cheng-hsun, Luis Ko, Chiang Chao-gen at Friday's press conference. (Taiwan News, Lyla Liu photo)