8:00 – 9:30 pm | Sep 3rd
Outdoor Stage | šxʷƛ̓ənəq Xwtl’e7énk Square North of the Vancouver Art Gallery
On the streets of Taipei, one lone Japanese man among a crowd of Taiwanese patriots proudly voices his support for Taiwan as a sovereign nation. Not only that, but he also played a part in Taiwan being introduced as “Taiwan” during the opening ceremony of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
That man is Hideki Nagayama, a researcher who has long been interested in Japan-Taiwan relations. For more than two decades, he has endeavored to bring the two nations closer and connect them on the basis of the many national values and common interests he sees that they share. Tirelessly campaigning on the streets of Japan with like-minded individuals to speak up for Taiwan and advocate for educational and legal reforms, Nagayama has contributed a great deal in helping Taiwan to be treated fairly and equally.
Looking at the illustrations of Taiwanese illustrator Chin-Wen Cheng, it is not difficult for one to spot the underlying critique of society and politics in his works, which fuse fantasy and realism. His brush serves both as his sword and shield, and the world of his art functions not only as a satirical take on the injustice of current events, but also as an expression of support for the suffering and disadvantaged masses.
This year’s TAIWANfest welcomes artist Chin-wen Cheng to retell the inspiring story of Mr. Hideki Nagayama through his newly animated illustrations. The story will also touch upon both past and current events in Canada, Japan, and Taiwan, paying tributes to all those who fought for democracy and freedom. In addition, the newly animated illustrations will be accompanied by the song “有一天” (“One of These Days”), warmly sung by the late Mr. Yung-neng Yen.
About the Artists
Hideki Nagayama was born in Saitama Prefecture, Japan and graduated from Hosei University’s Faculty of Law.
He once traveled to Taiwan with his family and was moved by the warmth of the customs, culture, and the deep historic ties between Japan and Taiwan. Since then, he has decided to explore Taiwan more deeply.
He resonated deeply with Lee Teng-hui’s writings and core values. As a result, he began to actively promote a positive relationship between Japan and Taiwan and push for the normalization of Taiwan being accepted as a sovereign nation.
He once launched a campaign requesting Japan’s Ministry of Justice change the nationality section of foreigner registration cards of Taiwanese residing in Japan from “China” to “Taiwan.” He also requested the Tokyo Metropolitan Assembly change the name of Taiwan’s delegation at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics from “Chinese Taipei” to “Taiwan”. His efforts led to a change in the order of the Parade of Nations for the Taiwanese team at the 2020 Olympics.
Currently, he is campaigning Japan’s Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology to stop designating Taiwan as Chinese territory in textbooks. He is also working to oppose media reporting news from the viewpoint of the “one-China policy.”
In 1997, Yung-neng Yen formed the band 打狗亂歌團 (Takau Chorus Fanatics) to tour Taiwan. Each band member is an expert in different music genres and creates numerous compositions with a variety of themes. The band members incorporate elements ranging from folk music to traditional Taiwanese music, drawing on the voices of the overlooked in Taiwanese society. An interesting fact regarding the name of the band is that the character 亂 (chaos) and the character 戀 (love) are homonyms with the same sound in Taiwanese. It is a way for the band to express their ardent love for Taiwan.
The band’s leader Yung-neng Yen was nominated twice for the Golden Melody Awards (GMA) as Best Male Taiwanese Singer for his albums, 大員一家農出來 (Ploughin’4 Future) and 天公ㄚ子 (Empyrean Foot), in both 2010 and 2012. Furthermore, his 2010 album Ploughin’4 Future won the GMA’s Best Taiwanese Album. Unfortunately, Yen suffered a cardiac arrest while performing live on stage on September 5, 2020. Despite the doctors’ best efforts, he passed away later that evening. Although his untimely passing was a dramatic loss for Taiwan’s music industry, his memories, spirit, and endeavours to promote the beauty of Taiwan—its rich traditions and cultural heritage, friendly and honest people, and scenic countryside—will forever live on through his music.
Chin-Wen was born in 1985 in Hemei Township, Changhua County. 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 for raising the public’s awareness of important issues. One of the most popular aspects 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!
Although Mina grew up in Taipei, she has always had a deep attachment to nature and is deeply aware of the inseparable coexistence between humans and nature. The paint brush that, for as long as she can remember, has never left her hand is her yearning for freedom. She is also a paper sculptor; with her simplicity, delicacy, and creativity, a flat piece of paper rises into a three-dimensional world.
Taiwan is inseparable from her creations. She believes in the power of art to unite everyone, and looks to use such talent to contribute to society. It is not difficult to see the influence of her love for Taiwan in her work—she cherishes the land she grew up in, and at the same time, she uses her creations to find connections and similarities between Taiwan and Canada.
Born in the southernmost part of Taiwan, living in the northernmost part of Taiwan, and from a family who relies on the ocean for their livelihood, Akie has always wanted to know more about the marine culture and story behind Taiwan’s history.
She has a good friend who is from Taiwan’s Indigenous people, and they heard that the totems of the Indigenous people in Canada are different from those in Taiwan. If she has the chance, Akie hopes to go to Canada to discover and learn, bringing interesting stories from Canada back to Taiwan to share with her good friend.
Akie loves stories, especially animations and videos with stories. She is learning and improving on the way to her hope of becoming a great animator. Knowing a good story gives her motivation for self-improvement, and she hopes that one day she can speak to Mr. Nagayama in Japanese.
This is Toy, Su Kuan Chih, AChih, aka Triangle Alien from Zong-Huo, Shu-Hui.
He is Triangle Head, graphic designer, video editor, creative weirdo, playful and hard-working, lover of small animals, fan of Taiwanese breakfast shops… This is his every day, and the character he plays. Through an internship opportunity, he came in contact with Canada; each time he arrives in Canada is a new challenge he gladly faces!
Born in Taiwan, gathering life experience in Canada. These achievements and experiences gives Toy more stories and inspiration than your average artist. He hopes to influence more people who also have a passion for interesting designs—that interesting things can be meaningful, too.
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