Cartoonist Tu Tse-wei (杜哲維) on Saturday was honored with the young talent award at the Fumetto International Comix-Festival in Lucerne, Switzerland.
Attending as a special guest, Taiwan’s representative to Switzerland Paul Chang (章文樑) presented the award to the 28-year-old Tu, who goes by the pen name Ahn Zhe (安哲).
Tu is the first Taiwanese cartoonist to win an award at the festival.
The organizer introduced Tu as a cartoonist who specializes in depicting traditional themes in innovative ways.
Chang said that Tu’s work reflects that young Taiwanese grow up in an environment that is simultaneously traditional and modern, and is influenced by Eastern and Western cultures.
This mix of influences makes the younger generation creative and they are eager to create their own styles, Chang said.
First held in 1992, the annual Fumetto International Comix-Festival attracts more than 5,000 visitors each year and aims to promote diversity in comic arts, while eschewing commercial interests.
In related news, Wang Yen-kai (王彥愷) and Chiang Chi-chun (江其駿), author and designer of a book about traveling around Taiwan, that took more than 10 years to create, won a silver medal for best book design at the Leipzig Book Fair in Germany on Friday.
The book, titled A Cachalot on a Train (坐火車的抹香鯨), is a collection of 70 illustrated stories about Wang’s travels.
It won a silver medal at this year’s international Best Book Design competition, organized by the German book art foundation Stiftung Buchkunst.
Wang and Chiang hope the book will inspire people to travel to the nation for its beautiful scenery, good food and to meet its friendly people.
Wang said he started working on the book more than 10 years ago in the aftermath of the deadly earthquake on Sept. 21, 1999.
He said he hoped that people would visit the stricken country and learn about its revitalization.
The jury in Leipzig praised the book’s artistic style and arrangement of space and text, which creates a sense of calm and poetry that brings delight to its readers.
“The depicted contemporary illustrations obey the primacy of flat space or spatial flatness stretching between linear drawn structures,” the panel wrote.
“The dominant white spaces are tickled by the filigree gossamer of the Chinese square-block characters. The poetry does not lie in vocalized or depicted items, but in the aura of circumscription. This is the true delight offered by this book,” the panel added in a statement.
The book was chosen last month for one of the two silver medals out of 575 entries from 32 countries.
It will be permanently displayed at the Deutsches Buch und Schriftmuseum, one of the world’s oldest book museums and part of the German National Library.
Wang said he and Chiang are prepared to spend another 10 years on their next book, which they hope will take them back to the Leipzig book fair.