As one of the most influential writers in Taiwan and one of three winners of the 29th National Cultural Award, Hwang Chun-ming is a prolific novelist who chronicles everyday life through the eyes of ordinary people.
Hwang truthfully narrates the journey of seemingly mundane characters who grapple with basic survival while struggling to maintain a semblance of dignity. This theme is apparent in "His Son's Big Puppet,” one of his most successful novels that was later made into the 1983 film "The Sandwich Man.”
The lead character of the novel serves to illustrate the sense of helplessness that permeated the working class; as a father looking to support his family, the protagonist works around the clock as a walking ad board in a clown outfit, but when he sheds his slapstick makeup one night, he finds out that his own son no longer recognizes his true face.
Hwang's inspirations stem from his childhood memories, particularly those from the era when Taiwan was under Japanese rule. In one interview, he explained that "I met the characters in my novels as a child, yet I never thought of writing them down. They just became a part of my memory. It was only later on, when I finally understood more of their struggles in that society, did I realize that there was more to their stories than what meets the eye.”
This sentiment can be found in his novel "A Flower in a Raining Night,” where Hwang delicately combines his love for the land with his compassion for the underprivileged members of society.
In addition to his literary achievements, Hwang is also the founder of Big Fish, a children's theater troupe aimed at inspiring younger generations through acting and storytelling. Moreover, during his term as the Theatre Art Director of Luodong, he established several cultural groups for grown-ups, encouraged actors to perform in the local Taiwanese dialect and arranged for writers to read their own works to those who cannot read nor understand the Chinese language.
All in all, one theme remains the most prominent among Hwang's various contributions to literature, theater arts and the Luodong community - his passion for the land, people and culture.