AKRU

A native of Taipei City; an illustrator and mangaka (comic / graphic novel artist).

In addition to her published works, including AKRU Art Works, Notes from the North City, Notes from the North City II, and The Wings of Kopule, AKRU has worked as an illustrator on many other published works. She continues to add content to her ongoing Dream Railways and Travel with the Dragon series of graphic novels.

AKRU is a recipient of a GIO Graphic Novel Award, Golden Comic Award, commendation from the Japan Media Arts Festival, and a Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Japan) International Manga Award.

Notes from the North City (I)

Computer Aided Design
222 X 152cm
2010

Words from the illustrator:
This standalone manga book (tankōbon) radiates my desire to create an imaginative space populated by imaginative elements from days’ past. The shadowy setting of Baihua Café and its enigmatic proprietor, combined with the freedom to insert all manner of creative elements into each of the stories within, let me unfold narratives that are engagingly topsy-turvy and richly variegated. The brushwork dialogues dynamically with the page headings while buttressing the proprietor’s claim on peculiar powers. In the stories, White Tiger Shun and Ian the Talking Crow appear both as the earthly representatives of a mischievous god as well as foils for the folklore books and magazines that clutter the café, highlighting the dualistic nature of this work as both history and imaginative fantasy.

Notes from the North City (I) front cover

Notes from the North City (II) front cover

Computer Aided Design
222 X 152cm
2013

In this second standalone book in the series, I ramp up the fantasy element to the stories. This is immediately apparent in the front cover illustration which, apart from retaining some elements of prewar Sakaimachi Street (Hengyang Road), leap high into flights of artful fantasy. Also, in this second tankōbon in the Notes from the North City series, White Tiger Shun and Ian the Talking Crow are joined by a wandering spirit known as Ai and a magical owl. I invest my creative energies in creating the look and ambiance of Taipei in the prewar “days of Shōwa”.

Notes from the North City (II) front cover

Literary Lass – Huang Feng-Tze

Computer Aided Design
483 X 303cm
2014

These illustrations portraying Taipei-born Huang Feng-Tze (aka N̂g Hōng-chu and Ikeda Hoshi; 1928- ) were published in issue 16 of Creative Comic Collection (CCC) in a special feature entitled the “Readings and Writings of Young Women”. Huang’s literary output centers primarily on Taiwanese folk stories and legends, and she is best known for titles including The Seven Star Goddess (Chinnyūmāshī, 1940), The Seventh & Eighth Masters (1940), and Taiwan Lass (Taiwan no Shōjo, 1943). She was one of only a handful of published Taiwanese women authors during the island’s Japanese Colonial Period (1895-1945) and was often referred to as ‘Bungaku Shōjo’ (the ‘literary lass’).

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