Chen Uen, a prominent and highly respected illustrator who was the first Taiwan manga artist to have his work published in Japan and Hong Kong, died March 26 from a heart attack at the age of 58.
The artist began his career in manga in 1984 with a series published in the China Times Weekly. Over time, he became known for his unique style combining traditional Chinese brush painting techniques with the use of vibrant colors.
Chen's manga was originally published in Japan in 1990. The work, titled Heroes of the East Chou Dynasty, is a historical fiction set against the backdrop of China's Spring and Autumn as well as Warring States periods (770-221 B.C.). He was honored for the series by the Japan Cartoonists Association in 1991.
Minister of Culture Cheng Li-chiun expressed her condolences, praising the artist for his innovative style that inspired the next generation of illustrators and broadened the view of local manga fans.
Chen's work can primarily be categorized into the fantasy, martial arts and pan-Asian historical genres. In 2000, he collaborated with Hong Kong publisher Jade Dynasty to create a manga series based on stories from the popular Pili glove puppetry TV show. Glove puppetry is an art form that originated in mainland China's Fujian province during the 17th century.
In 2012, Chen attended France's Angouleme International Comics Festival, seeking to reach audiences in Europe and Southeast Asia through German and Thai language editions of his comics.
In addition to his printed works, Chen also delved into the digital realm, cooperating with Japanese game-maker Game Arts on a special edition of the popular game Romance of Three Kingdoms, which featured characters based on the illustrator's designs.
The MOC, in a statement released March 28, said in tribute to Chen's dedication to educating and enlightening new artists, it will propose that President Tsai Ing-wen give a public eulogy for the beloved artist.
Source: Taiwan Today