Friday, 22 May 2009

Taiwan's rapprochement with the mainland received a boost this week when it was announced that a museum dedicated to the work of Taiwanese cartoonist Chu Teh-yung would be built in Hangzhou. The complex will also include animation studios, artists' workshops and hotels. Authorities have told Chu that he will have discretion in the museum's design.

Hangzhou is a provincial capital (Zhejiang province) located about halfway between Beijing and Taiwan. The province borders the sea.

A story published by Canada's CBC News says that Chu's cartoons, banned ten years ago, resonate with mainland readers because they depict stories they can relate to.

They portray family issues — not political ones — such as parental pressure and generational clashes, which have become more marked as China modernized and a new class of white-collar workers came to the fore.

"[The urban workers] see in my cartoons their own stories … people who are struggling with the same family and marriage problems as they themselves are," notes Chu.

In a China Post story we learn that Chu's cartoons have been made into Chinese stage shows or TV series and that "Chu has become a household name on the mainland".

A Taipei Times story notes that the deal was signed in late April.

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