Remembering the 228 incident can be a serious matter. A new exhibition in Taipei 228 Memorial Museum, however, chronicles the tragic chapter in the nation's history in a creative and animated way.
Steered by Juan Mei-shu (阮美姝), daughter of a victim of the 228 Incident, and created by artist Jarry Chang (張瑞廷), the "Talking About the 228 Incident Through Comic Strips" exhibition is designed to reach out to younger generations.
"Many young people are reluctant to learn about the history of the 228 Incident because the historical documents and records are so heavy. Through comics, I think it's much easier for [children] to absorb the information," said Juan during the opening ceremony of the exhibition yesterday.
The comic art displays the brutal suppression of civil unrest in 1947, the beating of a woman selling illegal cigarettes in Taipei City, the nation-wide protest that followed, and the large-scale arrests immediately after Feb. 28.
The arrest of Juan's father, Juan Chao-jen (阮朝日), the general manager of the Taiwan Hsin-sheng Pao (台灣新生報), also appeared in the comic. According to Juan, her father left his house with government officials around noon on March 12, 1947, and she never saw him again. Not until 21 years later, during her time in Japan did Juan read about the history of the massacre and learn about her father's death.
Juan researched this part of Taiwan's history extensively after the death of her father. When she first came up with the idea to interpret the tragedy through comics two years ago, Chang offered assistance.
"I've only had a vague idea about the history of the 228 Incident before, in addition to taking this chance to learn more about it, Chang said. "I also hope different ethnic groups will better understand each other after reading this comic."
Juan said that Chang's comic carries a sense of dignity, and this is the reason she provided all necessary 228-related documents to Chang so he could draw the comic.
Attending the opening, Li Bin (李斌), deputy director of Taipei County's Cultural Affairs Bureau said that acknowledging of the 228 Incident was very important.