Comic Artist Ant Sang Draws on East and West for Inspiration
Award-winning comic artist Ant Sang, who was a guest at this year’s Taipei International Book Exhibition, draws on Western and Eastern influences having spent his childhood and teenage years in New Zealand and Hong Kong.
Sang, a fifth generation Chinese New Zealander, said that inspiration helped produce bestselling graphic novels like The Dharma Punks and the award-winning Shaolin Burning.
“With my artwork, it’s a little bit of Western and Eastern and it’s combined into a style that maybe isn’t easy to categorise, but I try to find my own voice and my own style,” Sang said.
The 11 years he lived in Hong Kong was an “amazing experience” that later influenced his work.
“New Zealand is a small island nation like Taiwan. It has a rich history, but because it is so isolated, its people spend a lot of time looking outward for inspiration and figuring out where they belong in the world,” he said.
Eight-part comic series The Dharma Punks is set in the 1990s in Auckland, where a group of anarchist punks hatch a plan to blow up a multinational fast food restaurant. However, the plan takes an unexpected turn and the main character Chopstick, a Buddhist punk, finds himself faced with some big personal decisions.
Shaolin Burning remained in the top-10 of the New Zealand Booksellers Bookchart for 10 weeks and won a prize at the 2012 New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.
Sang has also won awards for his work on the popular animated TV series bro’Town.
Original article by Christie Chen, Focus Taiwan, February 12, 2015.