Embracing Our Inner Elves: Illustrator Bu Ta Ching／擁抱內心的守護精靈─不達景
Embracing Our Inner Elves: Illustrator Bu Ta Ching
◎English translation: Hou Ya-ting ◎Photos courtesy of Bu Ta Ching
Mr. Bu Ta Ching is the pseudonym of a Kaohsiung local who brings magnificent fantasy stories to life through colorful, warm and imaginative illustrations. These alluring works show elves with contagious smiles, gleefully wandering through beautiful natural scenes. The vibrant elves enliven and excite readers, reveling in a leisured atmosphere, and encouraging readers to read on.
Mr. Bu Ta Ching's Elf Water figure has its origins in a difficult period when he was accompanying his mother during her cancer treatment. Elf Water is a metaphor based on the concept of water as the essence of life. The artist points out that he always depicts Elf Water with closed eyes to stress the importance of continuous dialog with one's inner self. He says that to present Elf Water with open eyes would signify the blindness of seeking things from the outside world instead of listening to oneself. Mr. Bu Ta Ching encourages people to find peace of mind through communicating with their inner selves. Another of his major characters, called Elf Seed, derives from arboreal concepts, as forests abound with thriving creatures. The energetic Elf Seed, an outgoing and fearless character, is keen to embrace all manner of challenges and adventures.
Mr. Bu Ta Ching created both Elf Water and Elf Seed at a time when he was experiencing some setbacks. He believes that being in a personal slump actually presents wonderful opportunities for oneself. He believes every seemingly desperate situation conceals a gift, and that bad news must contain good news. Mr. Bu Ta Ching is able to relieve sadness and anger by pouring love into his paintings. His works emanate with encouragement. His art comforts others as well as himself.
In 2010, Mr. Bu Ta Ching enrolled in the 1st Artists in Residence Project, an art program hosted by Kaohsiung City Government's Bureau of Cultural Affairs. He says he was happy to join this program as a way of contributing to his hometown. Kaohsiung has long been known for its heavy industries, but Mr. Bu Ta Ching says he has never seen the city as merely industrial, rather beholding the city's sky and ocean, and the natural environment he enjoyed as a child. These experiences enriched his creativity. "Everyone possesses their own imagination. I'm very fortunate that I'm able to express my imagination through brushes," he says.