Unique eastern cultures have long been eye-catchers for western countries. Dr. Mong Fen Tsai of the Department of Creative Integrated Design, who made her name in the design world with the element of a Taiwanese grandma’s shopping bag, excels in integrating Taiwanese elements with her creations. This year, she won a silver award at the International Design Awards (IDA) with the visual image and merchandise of the 3rd Annual Taiwan Film Festival in Toronto inspired by prosperity brought by the dragon and the phoenix, presenting Taiwan’s vintage fashion to the world.

Featuring colorful neon strips, the poster of the film festival designed by Dr. Tsai showcased a figure of prosperity brought by the dragon and the phoenix, with which everyone in Taiwan is familiar. The seemingly shining characters on the poster written with neon yellow were highlighted by a navy blue background. Dr. Tsai said she was inspired by a figure of prosperity brought by the dragon and the phoenix shaped with neon light as the background of a stage at Taiwan’s early wedding banquets. Therefore, she used this image as the main visual design of the film festival in order to share the warm and delightful feeling she never forgets. In addition, she applied the figure of prosperity brought by the dragon and phoenix to merchandise. Brooches printed with the image of the dragon and the phoenix were gifts specially designed by her for parents to give to their children as their strongest expectation and support, hoping their children could have a bright future.

The IDA recognized Dr. Tsai with a silver award for artfully interpreting the traditional figure of prosperity brought by the dragon and phoenix. Having outshone thousands of works from 80 countries, Dr. Tsai cheerfully indicated that Taiwan has one-of-a-kind and fascinating cultures. Mainly, vintage design not only reminds senior citizens of the good old days but also plays a role in helping the younger generation inherit and understand the culture of Taiwan. The reason why Dr. Tsai always integrates the concept of vintage with her creations is to make a work as inspiring as possible.

Dr. Tsai encouraged students to observe their lives and pay attention to the news or what is happening around their friends because all of them could be rich sources of inspiration. Also, it is important to talk to yourselves because you can see your genuine desire and discover that there is nothing you cannot achieve. The Department of Creative Integrated Design integrates digital technologies with art design, leading students to apply technologies to creations and retain their cultures. Moreover, the Department of Creative Integrated Design actively builds connections with the world, arranging for students to do internships overseas to cultivate art and design literacy.

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