A Taiwanese boy who has developmental delays won an award for his picture book at a French art competition, showing the progress that the nine-year-old has made, despite struggling when he was younger, the boy’s father said on Friday.
Hsiao Chen-yang (蕭辰洋) was the grand prix winner at the Centre National du Fanzine d’Enfant competition for children’s fanzines — self-published amateur magazines targeted at specific fan groups — organized by the comic book festival Formula Bula and French publisher L’Articho, Formula Bula wrote on Facebook on Wednesday.
Hsiao won the award for his picture book My Old Transportation Time, which portrays mass transport systems in Taiwan and historic buildings, his father, Hsiao Yu-chi (蕭裕奇), said.
Photo courtesy of Xiu De Elementary School
This is a considerable achievement given that Hsiao Chen-yang was diagnosed with developmental delays in language and motor skills at age three, and could not hold or control a pen before age five, his father said.
“Chen-yang needed language therapy and used to become frustrated when seeing drawing paper because he could do nothing with it,” his father said.
Although he struggling academically, Hsiao Chen-yang developed his own style of painting without specific instructions and can draw at an amazing speed, his father said.
Photo courtesy of the Taipei City Government Department of Education via CNA
Working as a travel writer, his father helped him publish his first picture book, Father, Mother, Railway Stations and Me, at age eight.
“Although Chen-yang’s drawing skills are not sophisticated, he draws wholeheartedly,” his father wrote in My Old Transportation Time. “We just want to encourage him to pursue what he really loves.”
As most of Taiwan’s art competitions emphasize details and skills, it was difficult for Hsiao Chen-yang’s work to stand out, so he tried his luck abroad and made a breakthrough at the French competition, Hsiao Yu-chi said.
“We really appreciated that the French jury saw how special Chen-yang is,” he said.
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