Bologna Children's Book Fair (BCBF), an important event of the children's book publishing industry all over the world, is currently being held in Italy (from March 6th to 9th). This year (2023), Taiwanese artists Hsin-ping Pan , Wei-hsuan Chen , and Liang-hsin Huang were shortlisted from more than 4,000 international artists, with their works displayed in the BCBF Illustrators Exhibition, nicknamed by many as the "Oscar of the illustration industry". In order to help Taiwanese publishers keep up with the latest trends in the overseas markets and further develop international connections for Taiwanese creators, the Taiwan Creative Content Agency (TAICCA) set up a Taiwan Pavilion at BCBF and organized international copyright matchmaking sessions. What is more, TAICCA also assisted Taiwanese creators who have published award-winning works in recent years to participate in BCBF workshops and hold fansign events, in addition to arranging meetups for international award jury members and Taiwanese creators in which they explore the above-mentioned publications so as to fortify exchanges between Taiwan and the international market. By adopting the measures above, TAICCA seeks to expand and enrich local Taiwanese content and creative momentum in response to the government's cultural initiatives.
According to TAICCA CEO Izero Lee, the number of registered publishers in the Taiwan Pavilion this year has increased by nearly 40% as compared to the statistics from 2022, showing that the industry is highly optimistic about the exportation of children's book copyrights. In addition, Taiwanese artists have won major awards at the BCBF Illustrators Exhibition for consecutive years, which highlights Taiwan's creative energy and its business opportunities in the international market. Coincidentally, this year marks the 60th anniversary of BCBF, so a tremendous number of professionals from various countries are participating in this year's event. Under such circumstances, TAICCA strongly encourages local publishers to expand overseas markets on such a rare occasion, and looks forward to facilitating more transnational copyright licensing projects in the future.
In the afternoon of March 6th (Italian local time), the Taiwan Pavilion held an opening reception, which was attended by key figures in the industry and professionals from many countries, including representatives from the Bologna Children’s Book Fair, Wallonie-Bruxelles International, representatives from the Guagalahaja Book Fair, International Bureau of French Publishers, Polish Book Institute, Korea Publisher Association, etc. Ambassador Vincent Y.C. Tsai of the Taiwan Representative Office in Italy remarked at the reception that "congratulations for the awarded and selected creator. Taiwan has been a loyal and friendly partner of the book fair for over 30 years. Italy has a rich cultural heritage and holds a prominent position in the international artistic industry. Therefore, Taiwan and Italy have established a long-term culture exchange and cooperation relationship. I strongly believe that more Taiwanese visual creators and publishing houses will be recognized with international awards in the future, due to the strong government support and the concerted efforts of the private publishing industry".
Ambassador Vincent Y.C. Tsai of the Taiwan Representative Office in Italy (Left) and the delegation from Taiwan at BCBF.
This year, the Taiwan Pavilion is co-organized by the Taipei Book Fair Foundation, with a total of 48 Taiwanese publishers to exhibit 238 publications. The Pavilion is designed by Page Tsou, winner of the Bologna SM International Award for Illustration, to extend the design concept "Taiwan Stories Market" from last year and showcase the diverse themes and colorful styles of Taiwan's graphic products. At the Pavilion, resident copyright officers Catrina Liu, director of the "Books From Taiwan" initiative, and Sonia Dung, senior purchaser of British and American children's books, are always ready to introduce the Taiwanese publications exhibited to international professionals and make further exchanges.
The Taiwan Pavilion has different themed sections to display various works with international business potential, including "Themed Booklist: Our Animal Friends", "Featured Illustrators" with works by creators in the delegation, "Books From Taiwan" with the latest children's and comic books, "Award-Winning Books" with graphic products and publications that won the Golden Tripod Award or the Taiwan Literature Award, and "Featured Publishers" with notable works by Taiwanese publishers. With meticulous planning in each category, the Taiwan Pavilion will surely help promote graphic products with international market potential and thereby create more business opportunities for overseas rights licensing and other forms of cooperation.
Key figures and industry professionals gathered at the opening reception of the Taiwan Pavilion.
To help Taiwanese publishers actively promote their content to international professionals, TAICCA also organized two copyright matchmaking sessions and invited copyright professionals from Latvia, Brazil, etc. to facilitate two-way copyright promotion and information exchange on international graphic products. Besides matchmaking sessions, creators Lian-en Lin, Hui-yin Hsueh, Yashin, Wei-hsuan Chen, andLiang-hsin Huang of the delegation will hold fansign events at the Taiwan Pavilion, and there will also be an illustration concert presented by Taiwanese musician Reno Yeh at the Authors Café.
Taiwan representatives met representatives from Latvia at the copyright matchmaking sessions.
This year, the books published in Taiwan not only were shortlisted at the 2023 BCBF, some of them also won major awards. For instance, Whose Sock? by Jun Sun is the winner of the BRAW Comics for early readers. Five other books were also included in the 2023 BRAW Amazing Bookshelf Selected, including Still Young Still New by Higo Wu and Pei-hsiu Chen, SomeWhere by Egretllu, Let's Pretend We're Fish by Bei-Lynn, Hide & Seek: The Search for the Clouded Leopard by Page Tsou, and Unexpected by Yun-ping Yang and Spring Wang .
Taiwanese works were displayed at the Taiwan Pavilion at BCBF.
Taiwanese works were displayed at the Taiwan Pavilion at BCBF.