Chin-Wen Chang

Chin-Wen Cheng

Illustrator

Culture is something that is carved by history and shaped by the people that live and experience it every day. Taiwan and South Korea are both rich in culture, sharing many aspects yet remaining unique.

In Asia, the tradition of pickling ingredients in ceramic urns exists in many societies. The kimchi of South Korea is a well-known example; in Taiwan, many side dishes also consist of pickled vegetables. The process of pickling can be used to describe the way culture, history, and people have consistently been brought together, continuously interacting and reacting, then fermenting over time, gradually evolving into the Taiwan and South Korea we know today. This year, TAIWANfest is collaborating with visual artist Cheng Chin-wen, who has created an artwork inspired by this concept of fermentation, depicting many prominent characteristics of culture and significant social events in Taiwan and South Korea.

If the development of the two countries’ cultures is to be likened to the process of fermentation, Confucianism is surely one of the base ingredients, as is the history of Japanese occupation. Both countries have experienced similar changes in society; in both urns, we can also add several nationwide social movements: the Taiwanese people’s petition to establish a Taiwanese parliament, and South Korea’s March 1st Movement were both pivotal political movements that resisted Japanese colonial rule. The struggle against authoritarian governments during martial law in both countries is another layer in the pickling urn. Taiwan’s Formosa Incident in 1979 broke through the oppressed silence of the people, awakening the Taiwanese people’s consciousness towards freedom of speech. The 1980 Gwangju Uprising in Korea, where student demonstrators were violently suppressed and killed by troops, ignited the Korean people’s outrage and resolve to stand up against the military government. Both urns contain the taste of blood and sweat; fermented with the people’s perseverance, there is also the sweetness of democracy and freedom.

While the urns for the two countries hold many similar historical ingredients, the ingredients of language, religious beliefs, and social values produce two distinct flavours. South Korea’s #MeToo movement in 2018 which kicked off the #EscapeTheCorset social media revolution highlighted the gender inequality in South Korean society, allowing women all over the country to speak up and demand change. Around the same time, the LGBT+ rights movement in Taiwan gained momentum when the Constitutional Court made the historical ruling that barring same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. Then in 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, marking another step forwards towards social equality. Despite sharing many historical influences, Taiwan and South Korea each have their own secret ingredient inside the pickling urn, found in the differences of their everyday society and culture.

As both these urns continue to ferment, let us taste the change as the people of both countries continue to build a better society!

About The Artist

Chin-Wen was born in 1985 in Weaver Girl’s hometown, Hemei Township in Changhua. He majored in industrial design in university and pursued a career as an animation artist after graduation. He now works as a freelance illustrator.

He believes that drawing is a way of life in which he can earn a living while also enjoying it. It is also his medium to raise the public’s awareness of important issues. The favourite aspect of Chin-Wen’s creations is that he incorporates “personal viewpoints” into his art. This is also the most real reflection of himself, giving him more room for creativity and imagination!

His concern and attention for society is as realistic and detailed as his style. He has a unique way of conveying his views in an artistic way, so that more people can value them together!

In this collaboration with the TAIWANfest, he believes that the theme “Cultures Fermented” provides a very interesting contrast that allows him to understand the past of Korea from a Taiwanese perspective and see the opportunities of Taiwan from a Korean perspective. However, the starting point is the concept of multiculturalism in Canada. The fusion and interaction of these three different cultures is fully and exquisitely expressed in his artwork.

Chin-Wen Chang

Chin-Wen Cheng

Illustrator

Culture is something that is carved by history and shaped by the people that live and experience it every day. Taiwan and South Korea are both rich in culture, sharing many aspects yet remaining unique.

In Asia, the tradition of pickling ingredients in ceramic urns exists in many societies. The kimchi of South Korea is a well-known example; in Taiwan, many side dishes also consist of pickled vegetables. The process of pickling can be used to describe the way culture, history, and people have consistently been brought together, continuously interacting and reacting, then fermenting over time, gradually evolving into the Taiwan and South Korea we know today. This year, TAIWANfest is collaborating with visual artist Cheng Chin-wen, who has created an artwork inspired by this concept of fermentation, depicting many prominent characteristics of culture and significant social events in Taiwan and South Korea.

If the development of the two countries’ cultures is to be likened to the process of fermentation, Confucianism is surely one of the base ingredients, as is the history of Japanese occupation. Both countries have experienced similar changes in society; in both urns, we can also add several nationwide social movements: the Taiwanese people’s petition to establish a Taiwanese parliament, and South Korea’s March 1st Movement were both pivotal political movements that resisted Japanese colonial rule. The struggle against authoritarian governments during martial law in both countries is another layer in the pickling urn. Taiwan’s Formosa Incident in 1979 broke through the oppressed silence of the people, awakening the Taiwanese people’s consciousness towards freedom of speech. The 1980 Gwangju Uprising in Korea, where student demonstrators were violently suppressed and killed by troops, ignited the Korean people’s outrage and resolve to stand up against the military government. Both urns contain the taste of blood and sweat; fermented with the people’s perseverance, there is also the sweetness of democracy and freedom.

While the urns for the two countries hold many similar historical ingredients, the ingredients of language, religious beliefs, and social values produce two distinct flavours. South Korea’s #MeToo movement in 2018 which kicked off the #EscapeTheCorset social media revolution highlighted the gender inequality in South Korean society, allowing women all over the country to speak up and demand change. Around the same time, the LGBT+ rights movement in Taiwan gained momentum when the Constitutional Court made the historical ruling that barring same-sex couples the right to marry was unconstitutional. Then in 2019, Taiwan became the first country in Asia to legalize same-sex marriage, marking another step forwards towards social equality. Despite sharing many historical influences, Taiwan and South Korea each have their own secret ingredient inside the pickling urn, found in the differences of their everyday society and culture.

As both these urns continue to ferment, let us taste the change as the people of both countries continue to build a better society!

ABOUT THE ARTIST

Chin-Wen was born in 1985 in Weaver Girl’s hometown, Changhua Hemei. He majored in industrial design in university and pursued a career as an animation artist after graduation. He now works as a freelance illustrator.

He believes that drawing is a way of life in which he can earn a living while enjoying it. It is also his medium to raise the public’s awareness of important issues. The most favored aspect of Chin-Wen’s creations is that he incorporates “personal viewpoints” into his art. This is also the most real reflection of himself, giving him more room for creativity and imagination!

His concern and attention for society is as realistic and detailed as his style. He has a unique way of conveying his views in an artistic way, so that more people can value them together!

In this collaboration with the TAIWANfest, he believes that the theme “Cultures Fermented” provides a very interesting contrast that allows him to understand the past of Korea from a Taiwanese perspective and see the opportunities of Taiwan from a Korean perspective. However, the starting point is the concept of multiculturalism in Canada. The fusion and interaction of these three different cultures is fully and exquisitely expressed in his artwork.

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