This illustration work visualises the historical features of the mountain banana industry in the township of Jiji in Nantou County, Taiwan, during the Japanese occupation with the aim of promoting this branch of industry and help revive the local industry today. For these purposes, it narrates four different tales of the abundant treasure of folk anecdotes related to the mountain bananas of Jiji, which have been transformed into skilfully designed illustrations. The individual tales, for example that the bananas approved by Japanese emperors were marked with the Chinese character for “thousand” which represented a seal of top quality for mountain bananas at that time, were realised using a wood printing technique by laboriously carving them with knives into woodblocks, an approach that symbolises humble yet steady progress. The four prints present the four tales separately but, when the illustrations are combined, they connect to form a mark that corresponds to the Chinese character for “thousand”, symbolising the highest quality.
Statement by the jury
»In order to visualise the topic of the history of the banana industry in the township of Jiji in Taiwan, this work uses a historically appropriate handicraft. In both the way that the four meticulously carved pictures illustrate typical scenes from the past and that in combination they form a “character mark” that stood for quality back then, it represents a sophisticated implementation and outstanding stylistic achievement.«
Asia University, Taichung City
Yan-Yu Huang, Yan-Ting Chen, Ya-Chi Chiu, Lee-Wa Lin, Cheng-En Chang, Asia University, Taichung City