A French cartoonist who has published a comic book on Taiwan says Taiwan remains a place full of wonder and surprises, with its "joy of living" its best asset.
"Taiwan is a country living constantly in the present," said the cartoonist known as Golo in an interview with the Central News Agency. "Working, investing, succeeding, claiming independence and enjoying life seem to represent the attitudes of most Taiwanese people."
In his book Made in Taiwan published in 2001, Golo paints a humorous and incisive picture of Taiwan through its lively night markets, ubiquitous convenience stores and the public obsession with karaoke.
His memories of Taiwan from his visit back then were all positive, he said, but he did find some surprises.
"I was shocked by the number of motorcycles in Taipei, but Taiwanese people's hospitality and kindness impressed me the most," he said. "So I was surprised there were not many foreign tourists in Taiwan."
Born in Bayonne in southern France and a resident of Egypt for the past 15 years, Golo has traveled all over the world. He said that these multicultural experiences "are really an advantage in my drawing. Contacts with people from different cultures warrant an open-minded vision."
Golo, who once worked for a news agency in Egypt as a caricaturist, incorporates his social observations in his illustrations.
"Taipei is a modern city, but what is good is that it is not just a copy of other Occidental cities," he said.
Golo is in Taiwan for a month at the invitation of Le Pigeonnier, a French publisher, to coincide with the Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE). He is promoting Made in Taiwan and collecting information and observations for a second Made in Taiwan book of cartoons.
TIBE, considered the largest book fair in Asia, runs until Monday at the Taipei World Trade Center.
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