Taiwan Pavilion to Showcase Everyday Aesthetics at 2014 Frankfurt Book Fair

(From Left) Doris Wang, Chair of TBFF, Feature Writer Michelle WANG and Shu-Fang WANG, Director of the Department of Humanities and Publications, MOC., and Feature Graphic Novelists AKRU & Guang-Min RUAN.


The Taiwan pavilion at Germany Frankfurt Book Fair, to be held Oct. 8-12, will feature a graphic novel section this year. Two featured artists, Guang-Min RUAN and AKRU, will demonstrate the robust creativity and human concern of original Taiwan publications, underscoring the nation's unique brand image in the global publishing industry.


Co-hosted by the Ministry of Culture of Taiwan and the Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF), the Taiwan Pavilion will be located at Hall6.1 D33, illustrating the spirit of "Made in Taiwan" with 722 print and digital titles from 80 local publishers. The event is expected to display to the world Taiwan's diversified publishing ecosystem, boasting the most liberal, open-minded and vital environment in the Chinese-language market.


The two artists—Ruan and AKRU—were selected because of their international appeal and depictions of Taiwan's history and unique culture through the borderless medium of graphic novels. This increasingly popular genre is expected to endear Taiwan artists' works to readers and copyright professionals worldwide.


Ruan's grassroots stories have found a wide audience both domestically and globally, receiving invitations to participate in such international events as the 2011 Festival international de la bande dessinée de Chambéry and 2012 Festival International de la Bande Dessinée d'Angoulême. "Dong-Huachun Barbershop," one of his most celebrated works, will be showcased at the fair. The comic is a heartwarming tale teeming with qualities unique to Taiwan society and was adapted into an acclaimed TV drama.


AKRU, with her interest in the indigenous cultures and peoples of Taiwan, is celebrated for the supernatural elements she infuses into depictions of historical events. Among her most notable works is the award-winning "Kopule's Wings," based on the artist's mountain-climbing experience in Taiwan's Shei-Pa National Park. The book is not only beloved by the readers but honored with numerous awards in Taiwan and Japan.


Other Taiwan pavilion events at the Frankfurt Book Fair include Meeting the Taiwanese author Yung-Shan TSOU, who is presently based in Germany, and local Tainan writer Michelle WANG. Tsou's celebrated "Waiting Room" was awarded the MOC grant in translation and has sold the French copyright. Wang, with her promotion of Confucian philosophy and traditional culture, is famed for the everyday aesthetics featured in her books "The Way of Tainan" and "Living in Tainan."


In addition, an "Entering Asian Markets Successfully" seminar co-hosed by TBFF and Frankfurt Book Fair will take place 10:30-11:00 a.m., Oct. 10, at Hall 8. Chaired by Vice President Holger Volland of the book fair, this event will feature three iconic figures in Asia's publishing scene: Linden LIN of Taiwan's Linking Publishing Company, Chairman Trasvin Jittidecharak of the 2015 IPA Congress Bangkok and President Eric YANG of the Asia Pacific Publishers Association. The seminar will introduce the Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE), one of Asia's leading book fairs, and the second annual Frankfurt Academy Training Program at next year's TIBE to the global publishing circle.


With the aim of facilitating international copyright exchanges, the Taiwan pavilion will also showcase 16 recommended titles which were supported by the translation grant to be translated into English extracts covering the genres of children's books, comics, fiction and nonfiction. Titles featured in this initiative include "The Bubble War," "Whatever Anna Wants," "Sichuan Pepper," "The Little Camphor Tree," "Oldman," and so on.

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