Zhudong Animation and Comic Creative Park, Taiwan’s first park of its kind, opened on a trial basis on December 18. The Park has been meticulously designed by a team from Joy Magical Co., Ltd. and will display works by many Taiwanese comic masters and new generation comic artists; it also has the world’s first Pokémon station as well as a robot-themed coffee shop. Hsinchu County Magistrate Chiu hopes that the Park will become Taiwan’s Akihabara and not just the pride of Hsinchu, but the pride of all Taiwan.
Taiwan’s animation industry goes from strength to strength. Taking into account the rapid growth of the industry and the city marketing and visitor-attracting power of animation and comics, Hsinchu County Government implemented the Nine Stations of Neiwan Line—Taiwan Comics Dream Park along TRA’s Neiwan Line. Covering the largest area, of any project under the plan, Zhudong Animation and Comic Creative Park is a joint effort between the county government and Joy Magical.
Joy Magical’s CEO Wen Jin-hong said the animation and comic industry is a culture-based creative industry that is animation and comic centered. She hopes that, through the establishment of Zhudong Animation and Comic Creative Park, more innovation power will be injected into the industry in Taiwan. The Park is a platform for animation and comics; as well as displaying related works. A series of training courses will also be held, by the passing on of skills and knowledge, gradually molding a unique Taiwanese animation and comic culture and making the Park the most important animation and comic base in Taiwan, and turning Zhudong Animation and Comic Creative Park into Taiwan’s Akihabara.
Magistrate Chiu said that Zhudong Animation and Comic Creative Park is located next to the railway station, providing easy access by TRA and Taiwan High-speed railway, Taiwan’s two main tourist transportation system. The Park will combine with local resources to turn Zhudong into an animation and comic tourist city, linked to the Nine Stations of Neiwan Line tourism band. He expressed the hope that, through the Park’s establishment, plus the Ministry of the Interior subsidized Zhudong Charming Small Town Plan, to transform Zhudong and taken onto the international state, making it a new animation and comic city with a powerful attraction for tourist.
National treasure grade master comic artist Liu Hsing-chin said, Hsinchu is actually the home of many national treasure Taiwanese comic artists; Ye Hong-Jia who created the comic series Zhu-Ge-Si-Lang, and Chen Ding-guo, who created Story of Lu Siniang, were both born and brought up in Hsinchu. Liu believes that the founding of the Park will carry on the past and open up the future. He said excitedly that, after the Park opens, Taiwanese comic artists will have a higher profile and will be at the head of the world comic industry leading the culture-based creative industry to a new height.
The Park is made up of five main halls: Master Pavilion, Multi-media Pavilion, Creative Store, Mushroom House and Performance Hall. Many drawings by Taiwan’s master comic artists and Taiwan’s first comic, Jilongsheng Comic, are displayed; and a number of young generation Taiwanese comic artists exhibit their works or will be artists in residence, including Chiyou,Blaze,Kinono,King Cola, Ann,A-Kuei,Xia Yu Yao, Chen Xiao Ya and Stan Lee. It is hoped that the Park will not only record the tracks of evolution of comics in Taiwan;but also be the cradle that nurtures domestic comic artists.
The western part of the Park is now open on a trial basis; it is estimated that the Eastern part will open in 2016. “Floating Cloud” has been invited to be artist in residence and, with Happy Paradise as the theme, has visually enriched every corner of the Park with his childish and ingenious 3D color paintings. MrOgay Love has produced a painting that exudes happiness titled Naughty Mushrooms, featuring the Park’s lucky mascot mushrooms, Laifu and Gulake. Other artists lined up as future artists-in-residence include MrOgay Love, Hsu Jose and famous French illustrator Max Ducos, each with their own eye-catching style.
Also, in the Park there is the world’s only Pokémon-themed station. 17-year old Pokémon is popular around the world. With approval from the Japanese copyright owners, Hsinchu County Government has produced a limited edition Hakka floral cloth Pokémon. This attracted a large number of fans who were keen to buy one to collect as soon as they were released, and there was also an eight meter tall Pokémon to welcome everyone. The Park’s coffee shop is also not to be underestimated. It has a robot theme and has many on display, as well as a 14 meter long, two meter wide Tyrannosaurus rex robot inside that is photographed by many visitors. For diverse innovative experiences, Zhudong Animation and Comic Creative Park is the place to go!
Continuing to pursue the aim of building an animation and comic platform, as well as strengthening cooperation with industry,schools and inviting artists in residence, international resources will also be introduced and international cooperation carried out. Next year there will be cooperation with Detective Conan and Thomas & Friends, bringing world famous animated films and comics to Taiwan and taking Taiwanese animation and comics onto the international stage.