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Coverage of the December 2014 Press Conference held in Taipei to Announce the 2015 TIBE New Zealand Guest of Honour Author Programme, Branding and Pavilion Design

By Media Releases, TIBE

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4 people press conference taipei dec 2014

(From Left) Doris Wang, Chair of TBFF, Alice Wang, Director of the Department of Humanities and Publications, MOC., Kevin Chapman, Project Director of 2015 TIBE NZ Guest of Honour and Si’alei van Toor, Director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei.


The 2015 Taipei International Book Exhibition (TIBE) will feature New Zealand as the Guest of Honour chosen by our sponsor, the Ministry of Culture, Taiwan and organiser, Taipei Book Fair Foundation (TBFF). The New Zealand National Pavilion will incorporate a wealth of Māori elements in its architectural design and will showcase the glorious art and literature of their culture.

Through a series of author meet-ups and performances planned for the event, to be held 11-16 February at the Taipei World Trade Center, New Zealand’s unique culture and history will be introduced to local readers, the organiser said 22 December at a media conference in Taipei City.

“By designating New Zealand the TIBE Guest of Honour, Taiwan has established a bridge to the southern hemisphere,” said Alice WANG, director of the Ministry of Culture’s Department of Humanities and Publications, which oversees the operation of the book fair.

Ties between the two countries have strengthened substantively with the signing of the ANZTEC economic collaboration agreement in 2013, Wang said, adding that the ministry has teamed up with New Zealand to launch a co-authoring project. Both sides have three graphic novelists taking part in the initiative; they will take up residence in each other’s country and display the initial results during the event.

Si’alei van Toor, director of the New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office in Taipei, said that she hopes the book fair next year will strengthen bilateral cultural ties and show the people of Taiwan the rich culture of her home country.

“New Zealand and Taiwan have a lot in common. We’re both island economies with strong links to our indigenous peoples,” she said.

TBFF Chair Doris WANG expressed her gratitude for the presence of Kevin Chapman, director of the New Zealand Guest of Honour project, at the 22 December media event. She said she expects the annual book festival to garner satisfying results by stimulating Taiwan’s international participation, as well as overall cultural, economic, educational and political development.

“Themed ‘Open Hearts, Open Minds, Open Books’, the Guest of Honour project underscores the open-minded creativity of New Zealand,” Chapman said, “just like an open book that invites the reader to sample the joy of reading therein.”

World Architecture News Award winner Andrew Patterson, who drew his inspiration from “Tokotoko,” a Māori traditional walking stick, designed the New Zealand theme pavilion.

In Māori tradition, the stick is a symbol of authority and status for the speaker in oral literature. Modelled on three joined Tokotoko sticks, the pavilion represents a space of dialogues on equal footing between the speaker and the reader, between Māori and non-Māori cultures, and between New Zealand and Taiwan.

Moreover, it is a tribute to literature, as the pavilion is constructed mainly out of paper, one of the most essential and important building blocks in literature and publication.

After completion, the pavilion will resemble an archipelago of three 1.8-meter-tall paper islands, surrounding the main exhibition area. The surface of these paper islands will be adorned with laser-cut Māori totems with a modern twist. The enclosed space will house the main Guest of Honour activities, including author meet-ups and Māori dance performances.

A total of 17 New Zealand publishers will participate in the theme pavilion, exhibiting publications on a diverse range of subjects, including architecture, art, culture, fiction, history, science and children’s books. These include several professional educational publishers, who will showcase books dedicated to children’s education, English learning, schooling and upbringing.

In addition, it will feature 22 authors from the country, including 2 illustrators: Gavin Bishop and Sarah Wilkins. Their works will be featured in The New Zealand Children’s Illustration Exhibition at the Children’s Book Pavilion in Hall 3, along with four other NZ illustrators, including Robyn Belton, Donovan Bixley, Andrew Burdan, and Rowan Sommerset.

The 23rd TIBE will present a Kiwi-themed feast, rich not only in literary offerings but also cultural exchange. Members of the New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, Ngā Kete Tuku Iho, will perform Māori dances twice almost daily during the book fair. For two sessions—one in the morning and one in the afternoon—from 12 Feb to 16 Feb, they will introduce Māori culture through fascinating dance narratives, which incorporate greetings, challenges and battles, as well as the oral storytelling tradition.

Sculpture is an essential part of Māori culture, too. The Guest of Honour pavilion will also feature a master who will carve a wood sculpture on site during the fair.

As Taiwan’s indigenous tribes and Māori share several significant characteristics, the theme pavilion will also join hands with Taiwan’s Council of Indigenous Peoples to shed light on the ocean-spanning, boundary-crossing links.

The New Zealand Guest of Honour Programme is sponsored by Creative New Zealand, Education New Zealand, Publishers Association of New Zealand, New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, New Zealand Ministry for Culture and Heritage, Copyright Licensing New Zealand, Book Systems International and Te Puni Kōkiri. The programme is with the support of New Zealand Commerce and Industry Office Taipei and has partnership with Council of Indigenous Peoples, Taiwan and New Zealand Book Council.


For more information contact:

Ka Meechan

Visiting Author: Robert Sullivan



Robert Sullivan_smallI’m greatly looking forward to the cultural exchange. The indigenous Taiwanese people are relatives whose distant ancestors set out about 4000 years ago eastward into the Pacific. I’ve been lucky enough to already meet some of the indigenous writers and hope to renew the meeting, and to share our stories and poetry with them. There will be much for me to learn about their literature, and to share when I return.

Robert Sullivan’s nine books include the epic poem Star Waka (Auckland University Press) which has been reprinted five times and translated into German, the graphic novel Maui: Legends of the Outcast, illustrated by Chris Slane, and the New Zealand Post Children’s Book of the Year, Weaving Earth and Sky, illustrated by Gavin Bishop. He wrote a poem for the front steps of the Auckland City Library with a bronze installation called ‘Kawe Reo / Voices Carry’. He lives in Auckland and is head of Manukau Institute of Technology’s Creative Writing School. He has also co-edited with Albert Wendt and Reina Whaitiri two anthologies of Polynesian poetry in English, the Montana New Zealand Book Award winning Whetu Moana, and Mauri Ola. The latest anthology he has co-edited also with Reina Whaitiri is Puna Wai Korero: An Anthology of Maori Poetry in English which is the first poetry anthology of its kind. Robert belongs to the Maori tribes Nga Puhi and Kai Tahu, and is also of Irish descent.

Visiting Ilustrator: Sarah Wilkins



Sarah Wilkins portraitWhat a wonderful occasion for cultural exchange through the pages of our books at the TIBE 2015. I’m really looking forward to sharing ideas and being inspired by the people I meet there, not to mention getting a chance to discover the many wonders of Taipei…with a sketch book at my side!




Sarah Wilkins is a New Zealand illustrator who lives in Wellington.

Her illustrations show  a unique combination of sharp-eyed visual wit, sophisticated colour and graceful hand-lettering.

Working with acrylic, gouache, pen & ink and computer, Sarah’s whimsical and elegant style has a refreshingly painterly feel. Her illustrations have been featured around the world in books, magazines and advertising campaigns, airports, museums, on buses, murals, in the metro, as well as on bags, cups, toys………the list goes on.

Sarah’s clients include Barnes & Noble, United Airlines, American Express, Pfizer, UNESCO, NYU, Smithsonian, Time Magazine, Yoga Journal, Madame Figaro, The Los Angeles Times, The Boston Globe, Town & Country and The New York Times.

International awards of recognition for excellence in illustration:

Communication Arts, American Illustration, Society of Illustrators, 3×3 Magazine, Print Magazine, Society of Publication Designers.

New Zealand awards: LIANZA Russell Clark Award Winner 2003

NZ Post Children’s Book Awards Finalist 2003

Storylines Notable Book Award 2014

Titles: A Book is a Book (written by Jenny Bornholdt) to be published by Bookman 9th January 2015.

Contact: Jerome Su, Chairman



Visiting Author: Jenny Bornholdt



Jenny Bornholdt h&s photo by Deborah Smith_small

Photo by Deborah Smith

I’m looking forward to: hot springs, eating duck, catching sight of the famous jade cabbage, visiting the Miniatures Museum and the Paper Culture Museum, walking in the Botanical Garden, and, if there’s time, visiting the Pavilion of Aroma of Flowers – such a beautiful name.





A Book is a Book is Jenny Bornholdt’s first book for children.

She has published work in New Zealand’s ‘School Journal’ and in anthologies of poetry for young people, and has visited schools and universities to talk about her work.

Best known as a poet, Jenny has written 10 books of poetry, the most recent of which is The Hill of Wool.

Jenny poems have been used on ceramics, in paintings, on the exterior walls of a house, and on public memorials in Australia and Japan.

She has received numerous writing fellowships and awards and in 2005 was New Zealand Poet Laureate.

Jenny lives in Wellington, New Zealand.

Titles: A Book is a Book (illustrated by Sarah Wilkins) to be published by Bookman 9th January 2015.

Contact: Jerome Su, Chairman

Visiting Author: Heather McAllister



Heather McAllisterI am really looking forward to visiting Taiwan, as a dear friend of mine lived there for several years and spoke very warmly of her experience there.  She talked about how hospitable and friendly the people of Taiwan are, and also what a rich cultural centre it is.  I’m so pleased that I will be finding out for myself very soon and look forward to enjoying the warmth of the people and exciting cultural experiences.


Heather McAllister developed an interest in career direction for teenagers when she managed the Student Recruitment team for the University of Auckland, New Zealand.  In her role she spent several years counselling and advising students regarding the transition from secondary to tertiary education.

For her Master’s thesis, she had researched authenticity or ‘what it is to be true to yourself’.  After studying career theory, she discovered that ‘knowing oneself’ is the best basis for career direction, so it was a good fit.  With her experience and research, she wrote the book, ‘Who You Are is What You Do – making choices about life after school’’ as an aid for students.

Heather was raised in Auckland and at the age of 12, went with her family to India where she completed her secondary education at an international school.  On her return to New Zealand she qualified as a teacher and later went to the University of Auckland to complete a BA and then an MA in philosophy and psychology.

She has three adult children and continues to work at the University of Auckland in a different role.

Title info:

Who You Are is What You Do – Making choices about life after School. is published by Emily Publishing in Taiwan

Contact: Emily, Ching-Chun Chuang

Visiting author: Selina Tusitala Marsh



Selina Tusitala MarshThe fantasy would be to take a kick boxing class in Taiwan, compare it to my basic training in Muay Thai on Waiheke Island, and write a poem about it.  I’d also love to watch a kick boxing tournament and write poetry in the stands!  I will also be ‘digging up’ a poem I planted in Taipei in December 2014.

Selina Tusitala Marsh is of Samoan, Tuvaluan, English and French descent and is a Poet and Senior Lecturer in the English Department at the University of Auckland where she teaches New Zealand and Pacific Literature and Creative Writing. ‘Tusitala’, her Tuvaluan grandfather’s name, means ‘writer of tales’.  It is a legacy she has grown into as her critical and creative work focuses on giving voice to Pacific communities.

She was a Poet Olympiad for the 2012 London Olympics, and her award-winning poetry collection, Fast Talking PI (Pacific Islander) published by Auckland University Press (2009) featured at the 2012 Frankfurt Book Fair.  Its title poem became a cultural phenomenon, sparking off versions up and down the country, throughout schools and communities (see Marsh’s article here).

A second collection, Dark Sparring: Poems (Auckland University Press,  2013) received international praise (see among others) and connects the dance of Muay Thai kick boxing with the faatele, a Tuvalu dance in order to explore how we face life’s adversaries of death, addiction, and disempowerment.

She has just completed a book manuscript based on her doctoral thesis which explores the key metaphors of 11 first wave Pacific women poets and places them in inter-generational, cross-cultural conversations.  She is currently working on a sequence of poems, ‘Finding Alice’, based on her interviewing of poet and global activist extraordinaire, African-American Alice Walker when she visited New Zealand in 2014 (see

Link to Fast Talking PI:

Link to recent collection:

Visiting Author: Mark Sommerset


GoH_Logo_BlackMark SommersetI loved attending TIBE 2013 as part of the International Fellowship Programme and I can’t wait to return to Taiwan for New Zealand’s guest of Honour year.  Our award-winning book Baa Baa Smart Sheep will be published in complex Chinese by Hsinex International and I am really looking forward to sharing this cheeky and funny little story with the people of Taiwan. Gobble! Gobble!


Mark Sommerset lives on Waiheke Island, New Zealand where he creates award-winning picture books with his wife, Rowan. His titles include the cheeky best-seller Baa Baa Smart Sheep (New Zealand Children’s Book Awards ‘Children’s Choice’), The Boy and the Cherry Tree (Best Children’s Book, PANZ Book Design Awards) and Two Little Bugs (White Raven award – Germany, Book of the Year, PANZ Book Design Awards).

Mark loves to spend time in his imagination, dreaming up storylines and creating books that entertain adults as much as children.  His writing,  and Rowan’s distinctive illustrative style, has a universal appeal that has resulted in their books being translated and published in many languages and countries around the world.

When he is not writing (or making cups of tea for Rowan!) Mark can often be found playing-up with his young son Linden or getting-down with his guitar.

To watch a short Movie about Mark and Rowan and the books they create click through to:

For more information visit:

Title info:

Baa Baa Smart Sheep will be published Hsin-Yi Publications in January 2015.

Contact: Arni Liu, Deputy Editor in Chief

Graphic Novelist: Tim Gibson



 If there’s anything I like more than books it would be food, and having forced Kiwi culinary experiences like ‘Fish and Chips’ on our visiting Taiwanese comic compatriots, I can’t wait to taste the cultural counter-offer at TIBE. I expect big things. And small things (some of them fried).


Tim Gibson has produced illustrations for clients as diverse as Le Monde Diplomatique and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to Peter Jackson and Steven Spielberg. In 2012 he was awarded Creative New Zealand funding to write and illustrate his debut comic series Moth City which has since gained a substantial digital readership, the support of leading American creators and was named as one of Comixology’s Top Comics for 2013.