Jason Chuang is an illustrator and storyteller based in Taiwan and the UK who explores alternative realities and expresses the power of imagination through his surreal narratives.
The UK / Taiwan
As an award-winning graphic novelist and current Master's student at the Royal College of Art in London, UK, Jason has found new ways of storytelling through animated short films, while continuing to contemplate the absurdities of human experiences through his 2D illustrations.
Days Spent In Isolation Part II
What attracted you to pencil and digital illustrations?
With pencil drawing, it’s the directness that I like. I also have a sentimental connection with a pencil, as it has been the first and the most frequently used medium for me to note down ideas. Pencils seem to have a magic that brings certain kinds of emotions out of people, I guess it’s because most of us are very familiar with the medium and used it to doodle or scribble on different surfaces as a kid. I started breaching into the digital art territory about 3 years ago. I am particularly attracted to how one can gain full control over almost everything, from the weight of lines, quality of the lines, compositions, to colours; and working digitally is very time-saving for me too. In the future, I plan to merge my traditional skills more closely with the digital medium.
Do you find yourself using certain elements often? If so, why do you use them, and what do they symbolize for you?
I am naturally attracted to the bizarre and beautiful things, the oddities that occur in everyday life, these interests are translated into the work that I produce. I am hugely inspired by the surrealist movement; it resonates with the way I work, as my visuals are heavily reliant on the unconscious mind and my intuitions in dealing with my experiences and emotions. The medieval oriental art also inspires me hugely, I especially love its spirit of capturing the essence of the subjects and leaving blank breathing to achieve harmonious and well-composed scenes. I’ve been trying to bring in the elements from this period of time in Asian art as a nod to my own heritage.
While creating, do you keep those who view your work in mind? Is there a message you intend to convey?
I create images to help me fathom my place in the world, to situate myself and my experiences within a particular time and space, and to consolidate the existence of these experiences. A lot of my inspiration comes quite introspectively through my own sentiments towards the stimuli from my surroundings, and I hope that through my work, I can offer my audience an alternative world that is distinctly different from ‘reality’, but somehow closer to the truth on a metaphorical level. I wish not to answer questions but propose different perspectives where nothing is set in stone but rather opens up doors to encourage everyone to dream.
The Death of Authenticity
The Other Half Part III
Your comics and more recent works are like surreal riddles. It’s fascinating how they