For this article in the international artist series, we turn to Taiwan, featuring six artists who create fantastic work, from beautiful illustrations to animations and more! I asked each artist how their country and culture inspired their work, and they delivered fantastic answers. Enjoy!
Croter is an illustrator and graphic designer based in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. His work features gorgeous illustrations combining his love of surrealism, myths, and ironic humor. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
There Are No Facts, Only Interpretations - Part 1
Taiwan is a nation in Eastern Asia, located in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Our country is abundant in natural resources and various terrains. Taiwan has been colonized several times in the last century, therefore you can see both complexity and contradiction in the Taiwanese culture. Such mixing of styles presents itself in the social customs and the presentation of art. This is also the reason why I’m so deeply in love with Taiwan, but of course I won’t forget to mention the delicious food too!
There Are No Facts, Only Interpretations - Part 2
Since our culture integrates so many different kinds of elements, we’re incredibly receptive of both the Western and Japanese cultures. We read Japanese comic books and listen to Western rock music. My illustrations are like miniatures of Taiwanese culture because they make you feel a little distant from the real world of Taiwanese life.
If there are any chances that I can create illustrations related to Taiwan, I’m willing to spend more time on them, and hopefully I can present more of these characteristics of Taiwan.
Catank Mini Picture Book
Facebook is the most popular social platform in Taiwan, therefore many Taiwanese illustrators share their work with each other on Facebook. Other than Facebook, we use many major art community sites. There is also a magazine dedicated to illustration called “DPI” where we usually acquire new information and exchange thoughts.
Cyndi is an illustrator based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her work features stunning illustrations with sublime color palettes and interesting themes. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
In Taiwan, everywhere you look there is always a cute coffee shop around the corner. Everyone can find their own favorite spot or hidden gem. They are unique in their own way and I often get inspiration for my creations from a variety of cafes.
Since the public transportation is so easy and convenient, you can literally get anywhere and explore every cafe scattered around this island. I love living in Taiwan.
We live in a crowded island, so people are close to each other and it's common for neighbors or classmates to become friends for life.
They say the most beautiful thing about Taiwan is its citizens, and that rings true for me. The elements of love, emotion, and life are what you can often sense in my illustrations and they are the projection of the culture in Taiwan.
As an artist in Taiwan, you will never feel alone, for it's easy to work or share ideas with like-minded people. I have made some friends who are talented artists who made my life as an illustrator more fulfilling and fun.
Te-Yu is a graphic designer and 3D artist based in Taipei, Taiwan. His work features amazing 3D illustrations with clever compositions. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
Future Sushi Chef
Taiwan is a beautiful country with a comfortable climate and rich crops. People living in Taiwan can enjoy various tropical fruit and fresh seafood with inexpensive prices all year round! Above all, we've got the perfect transportation system, and people who suck at driving like me can go to any place very easily!
Unitedway - Wheelchair
Taiwan is a country with a complicated past. A century ago, the Taiwanese used to speak Japanese and now have Mandarin as the standard language. For some reason, people in my generation are concealed from our own history. Therefore we cherish our own culture more than ever. These feelings can also be seen in our work.
We are now in a period of change, through contemporary media and technology, a variety of traditional arts and culture are reborn in new forms. To be a part of it is my greatest honor.
Glove Puppet Master
As a lively and friendly country, there are various communities and organizations in Taiwan. People of different fields or Facebook groups are always very willing to provide advice. And when I have a problem, there's always someone who is willing to lend a helping hand.
Yashin is an illustrator and designer based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her work features complex illustrations created with a variety of mediums and intricate details. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
In Taiwan, you can discover multiple cultures in every day life, all combined together and transformed into a weird hybrid culture. This is the most interesting part of living in Taiwan I think. Also, the local food is a huge love of mine.
Whiskey Pop Up Book
Recently, I started learning about woodcut and mezzo tints as a new way to create prints, due to my interest in the fascinating textures and strokes of this process. It's also a good way for me to practice using traditional materials.
The Lonely Whale
The Lonely Whale
Some friends and I founded a gallery in Taipei named Liau Liau Art Space. Our members include curators, designers, animators, and contemporary artists. We are trying to combine all of our knowledge from different fields to explore a new way of collaboration and communication between art, design, and exhibition.
Heng-Jui is an illustrator based in Taipei, Taiwan. His work features vibrant illustrations inspired by fun pop culture themes. Check out a small selection of his work below, or see more in his portfolio.
Standing On One Foot
Taiwan is a small country but very international. And by small I mean it's very convenient and you can easily experience a variety of different scenery. Most importantly, there are many kinds of food in Taiwan!
In Taiwan's history, we've made contact with so many countries so we are always interested in different cultures. Japan, South Korea, the United States, and Europe are common elements seen on the street. Whether it's art, television, fashion, or food we love all cultures! Especially the food!
The Moon Lady
Taipei was the world design capital in 2016. But in fact, we are still growing as a community. We continue to accept new things and ideas!
Chu-Chieh is a motion graphic designer based in Taipei, Taiwan. Her work features incredible animations full of life and energy. Check out a small selection of her work below, or see more in her portfolio.
Future, Imagine That
I particularly love the varieties of natural beauty and the super kind people here. Taiwan is a small island, no doubt, but it has whatever you want. And you can easily reach whatever you need like different styles of food or life supplies. It’s really convenient. I think Taiwan is a really friendly, open-minded place with people from all over the world.
I was influenced not only by traditional Chinese art, but also by the vivid colors within daily life. They bring me a great combination of ideas sometimes. I love the spirit of traditional aesthetics and the energy that you can feel from the streets. Besides that, the folk images, traditional symbols, and vintage art are all very beautiful here. I really love it.
Chinese typography is an important element that I love to try put in my work too. The complexity of letters and the stories behind every distinct word are really appealing. I've been learning about Chinese calligraphy for many years ever since I was a child. I believe that it also influences me a lot in my life.
Yodex 2014 - Young Designer's Exhibition
We Are Bito
The art community here is still growing but I think it is full of energy. Artists and designers are always trying to create something new and trying to do something good and helpful for our art community.
Many thanks to the artists who took time to answer my questions and share a bit about themselves and how their country and/or culture has affected their work. You can check out more of their work in the links below: