The Ministry of Culture held the first of a planned series of meetings on June 20 to discuss preparations for a commemorative exhibition on the late comic artist Chen Uen (鄭問) – the first of its kind to be offered on a national scale.
Chen (1958-2017) was an established Taiwanese cartoonist who was given the title of “The Treasure of Asia” by Japan’s manga commentators. His works were known for their integration of Chinese ink painting styles with western painting techniques.
With a career spanning more than two decades, Chen was the first-ever Taiwanese cartoonist who was honored with the Japan Cartoonists Association Award for his “Heroes of the East Chou Dynasty (東周英雄傳)” series in 1991.
Hosted by Culture Minister Cheng Li-chiun (鄭麗君), the meeting was attended by Chen’s family members as well as representatives of the National Palace Museum, Taipei Manga Association (台北市漫畫從業人員職業工會), and the Taiwan-based General Association of Chinese Culture (中華文化總會).
The meeting discussed affairs such as the content of the exhibition, process and scheduling, and division of tasks. By the end of the meeting, a work team was formed and officially put in charge of the preparations.
The Minister noted that Chen’s comic series had influenced and inspired younger cartoonists, and his unique topics also broaden the horizons of his avid readers. To pay homage to Chen and affirm Taiwan’s original creations, the upcoming exhibition in 2018 will be the first national exhibition to ever feature comics.
To strengthen and expand Taiwan’s comic prowess, the Ministry of Culture has amassed resources and taken measures to enhance the overall industry, cultivate talented artists, promote trade and copyright in comics, and collaborate with international art villages and publishers.
The Ministry will also start researching and archiving historical documents related to Taiwan’s original comics.
In the future, related programs such as Taiwan’s Golden Comic Awards and the Anime, Comics, Games (ACG) Development Project will be incorporated in the copyright promotion of Chen’s legacy.