Poor Au Yao-Hsing! When he applied for Maison des Auteurs, the renowned artist residency in Angoulême, France, it was only on a whim. He never expected they’d actually invite him! You’re over sixty years old, his wife complains, and you’ve never been to Europe! They don’t speak English over there, his friends warn, let alone Chinese; and how are you going to live, with everything so expensive? But Au Yao-Hsing squared his shoulders and went anyway, and when he came back, he drew the story of his trip, of four months in a wonderful country in the company of the best artists in the world.
Pictures are as universal a language as love, and Au Yao-Hsing’s wonderfully emotive illustrations convey with perfect clarity the intense, exciting, and often frightening experience of coming together with one’s peers in a foreign place. Au Yao-Hsing reminds us that age is not inaction or inability, but deeper illustration on life’s blank page.