2022-04-29 (Fri) -
- FabCafe Nagoya
Taiwan Creative Fes. is back for another edition, and this time we’re celebrating “the good old days” with a smorgasbord of art, music and food and drinks.
It’s the second time audiences in Japan will get to experience everything that’s “good”about Taiwan, after a successful run at FabCafe Nagoya last year.
Taiwanophiles unable to visit the country due to Covid-19 border restrictions will take delight in the week-long event – happening once again during the country’s favorite holiday, Golden Week.
Not only is Taiwan a travel favorite for Japanese visitors, Taiwanese culture has also seen surging popularity in Japan in recent years, in part due to the continued friendly cultural exchanges between the two nations.
Headlining artist Aserk Chu notes that Japanese culture has always had a strong influence on Taiwanese people. Born in ‘85, Chu says his childhood was filled with Japanese manga, anime and games – a pop cultural element he often incorporates into his works.
As one of Taiwan’s leading graffiti artists, Chu will showcase a series of original works at this year’s Taiwan Creative Fes., many of which directly referencing childhood favorites – such as Doraemon, Gundam and Dragon Ball Z.
“A lot of the things we watched or read as kids also used grade schoolers as the main characters, and they were charged with saving the world,” Chu says. “I think this had a big impact on us!”
“It’s as if we could really do something – and that was when we were the happiest.”
In thinking about the theme of “the good old days”, his biggest work in the exhibition, “Good Times”, touches on this nexus between good and bad, perfect and imperfect – most evidently in the bubbly yet sparse lettering of the words mei hao, which can be translated to mean good, or wonderful.
For this exhibition, Chu will work in collaboration with Japan-based artist and illustrator Nana Soeda. It’s his second time working with Soeda, after supporting her for her 2021 solo exhibition in Taipei. According to him, the way they initiated their collaboration previously was by sending each other childhood snacks from their respective countries.
“I sent a bunch of really local Taiwanese snacks that I loved as a kid, and explained to her what they were,” Chu says. “She also did the same, and let me know what kids in Japan liked back then. And we discovered a lot of similarities!”
Though it may be his first time exhibiting abroad, Aserk Chu is no stranger to the collaborative spirit of the international graffiti and street art scene. Having first dived into the scene in Melbourne in 2013, Chu then went on to work with Pow Wow Taiwan, and now organizes his own “graffiti jam” events through his venture KIDZ JAM.
Amidst the mishmash of different cultural elements, Chu says the “main character” of his pieces in this exhibition is still traditional Chinese text.
“I may have been heavily influenced by Japanese culture, but as a Taiwanese, I still want to highlight the fact that this is from Taiwan.”
Aside from the explosion of art, Taiwan Creative Fes. 2022 will also see a special menu by Taiwanese food producer and maverick Jeek Pan. In response to the nostalgic flair of the festival, FabCafe Nagoya will be serving one of Taiwan’s most traditional and recognizable street dishes – chicken rice (ji rou fan). Like the humble ramen joint, or the homemade offerings of local mom and pop shops, Pan is excited to share his take on the perennially loved “soul food” dish.
Along with local Taiwanese fare, FabCafe Nagoya will also be selling a special collaboration beer from Taiwan’s beloved craft brewery Taihu Brewing. The beer features popular Taiwanese band Sorry Youth, whose music will be on heavy rotation in the store during the festival week.
About Aserk Chu
Born in 1985, Aserk Chu was deeply influenced by the graffiti scene of the ‘80s. Chu’s distinctive style mixes illustrations and his personal experiences with a colorful painting style and intricate typography. Chu is also the founder and director of Taiwan’s original graffiti jam KIDZ JAM, and has held more than 13 major graffiti art events in Taiwan. Committed to popularizing graffiti art, Chu organized the drawing workshop series Paper Jam in 2019, seeking to bring out the power of visual thinking through interaction.
About Nana Soeda
Born in 1994, Nana Soeda is a graduate of the Central Saint Martins foundation course. She is influenced by the toys, signs and junk of Asia. She feels both an affinity for “cheapness” as well as resentment and sadness towards the “unreasonableness” of society, creating artworks based on these themes.
About Jeek Pan
Born and raised in Taiwan by restaurateur parents, Jeek was exposed to food-making at a young age. After attending film school in London, Jeek returned to Taiwan and started a Youtube channel filming food videos around Taiwan and around the world. He opened his own restaurant Weekend Chicken Club in 2020, collaborating with different creators and becoming one of the most influential chefs in Taiwan. He was invited to provide food and beverage services at the Presidential Office in 2022.
Taiwan Creative Fes. 2022 is on from April 29 (Fri) to May 8 (Sun) at FabCafe Nagoya. See event page here: https://fabcafe.com/jp/events/nagoya/2022_tcf
No reservation required