Wed, May 30, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Video promotes Uen Chen exhibit

By Wu Po-hsuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Grass Jelly Studio director Muh Chen, left, and Mayday singer Ashin, second left, Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chun, second right, Chung Meng-shun, right, and others pose for photographers at a Taipei news conference to promote a special exhibit of Taiwanese graphic artist Uen Chen’s work at the National Palace Museum that opens on June 16.

Photo: CNA

Ashin (阿信), lead vocalist for the Taiwanese rock band Mayday, and Grass Jelly Studio director Muh Chen (陳奕仁), yesterday released the video they made for a special exhibit of Taiwanese graphic artist Uen Chen’s (鄭問) works at the National Palace Museum.

Uen Chen, who died on March 26 last year from a heart attack at age 58, was famed for his combination of Western techniques with Chinese ink painting.

He was the first Taiwanese comic artist to see his works made into serials in Japan, in the 1990s.

Ashin told a news conference in Taipei that he had long been a fan of Uen Chen’s works, which he though were artistically exquisite and rich with meaning.

“I met Uen Chen five years ago,” Ashin said, adding that he had bought the rights to one of the artist’s comic series with the idea of turning it to an animated movie.

Ashin said he hoped his fans would support Taiwanese comics and visit the exhibition, which opens on June 16.

Muh Chen, whose Grass Jelly Studio provides professional film, TV and video services, said he had visited Uen Chen’s residence and chose from a list of classical works to use in the video.

“If one gives everything they have, they can move the world,” he said.

Chung Meng-shun (鍾孟舜), who had been a student of Uen Chen, said the exhibit was an effort to promote greater appreciation for Taiwanese comics and, more importantly, to allow Taiwanese to have greater appreciation of Uen Chen’s art.

The aesthetics of Uen Chen’s comics emphasized color and contrast, and are laden with metaphors, Chung told the news conference.

Uen Chen molded into his works many composite media, Chung said.

“Stripping away the shell of the comic illustrator, Uen Chen is an artist,” he said.

The show at the museum would also include videos of Uen Chen at work, which would hopefully remove the barriers between the public and the artist’s works, Chung said.

Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chun (鄭麗君) said that Taiwanese should be prouder of Uen Chen, adding that in Japan his work is called “Asia’s treasure.”

While the ministry has supported the exhibition, the nation’s popular culture sector is also backing it, which shows the depth of the nation’s culture, Cheng said.

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