Taiwanese boy with developmental disability wins France art contest

10/05/2019 01:41 PM
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Image from Formula Bula
Image from Formula Bula's Facebook page

Taipei, Oct. 5 (CNA) A Taiwanese boy suffering from developmental delays has won an award for his picture book at a French art competition, showing the progress the 9-year-old has made despite struggling when he was younger, the kid's father said Friday.

Hsiao Chen-yang (蕭辰洋) won the grand prix of the CNFE competition of children's fanzines -- self-published amateur magazines targeted at specific fan groups -- organized by the comic book festival Formula Bula and French publisher L'Articho, Formula Bula announced on Facebook on Wednesday.

The boy won the award with his picture book "My Old Transportation Time," which portrays Taiwan's mass transportation vehicles and historic buildings, his father Hsiao Yu-chi (蕭裕奇) said.

This is quite an achievement because he was diagnosed as having developmental delays in language and motor skills at age 3 and could not hold and control a pen before age 5, his father said.

"Chen-yang needed language therapy and used to feel frustrated when seeing a drawing paper because he could do nothing with it," the father said.

Struggling academically, Chen-yang later developed his own style in painting without receiving any specific instructions and can draw at an amazing speed, according to the father.

Working as a travel writer, his father helped Chen-yang publish his first picture book "Father, mother, railway stations and me" at the age of 8.

"Although Chen-yang's drawing skills are not sophisticated, he draws wholeheartedly all the time," Yu-chi wrote at the end of the picture book. "We just want to encourage him to pursue what he really loves."

As most of Taiwan's art competitions emphasized details and skills, it is hard for Chen-yang's works to stand out so he tried his luck abroad and eventually shined at the CNFE, the father said.

"We really appreciated that the French jury saw how special Chen-yang is," Yu-chi said.

(By Chen Yi-hsuan and Chi Jo-yao)


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