23. ilb 06. – 16.09.2023

Nie Jun

Portrait Nie Jun
© Age Jin

Nie Jun was born in Qingdao in the province of Shandong in 1975. His interest in drawing started at a young age; before he began producing his own comics, he would reproduce paintings and drawings from traditional Chinese pocket picture books (Lianhuanhua) as well as international comic series. As a teenager, he published his own work for the first time after winning a competition organized by a comic book. Nie Jun completed his studies in visual communication at the Chinese Academy of Art in Hangzhou just as the Chinese comic book industry began to blossom thanks to the Chinese economic reform. Nie Jun earned international recognition for his comic strip »My Street«, which ran between 2001 and 2003 in the monthly magazine »Beijing Cartoon« and was released in French as a three-part series in 2006/2007. The dynamic black-and-white illustrations follow the story of two young Chinese men as they travel far away from their homeland to Europe in search of love, themselves, and the meaning of life. Many of the author’s other comics deal with travelling characters that have yet to come into their own. »My favorite theme is wandering. My heroes are always on the move. The stories arise from this constant movement rather than from staying and living in one place. This is because it’s always been my dream to wander from one place to another so that I can see different things« (»CCTV«, October 17, 2005). In 2003, by invitation of the Faculty of Manga at Kyoto Seika University Nie Jun temporarily moved to Japan, where his work earned him recognition from a well-known comic book publisher. His 2016 French publication »Les Contes de la Ruelle« was released in the United States in 2018 as »My Beijing: Four Stories of Everyday Wonder« and won over the English-speaking public. At the center of the stories is a petite, happy girl who needs to use crutches due to a physical disability, and her cozy grandfather, who helps his granddaughter achieve her dreams, be they big or small. With delicate strokes and colorful, soft illustrations, Nie Jun develops his very own style, based on both Asian and European comic traditions, and creates scenes in which adventure, zest for life, and delicate magic come together. In 2019, »My Beijing« received the Batchelder Award from the American Library Association and »Aweto«, the first volume in a series about magical adventures in medieval China, appeared in France.

Nie Jun lives in Beijing, where he teaches illustration at the university alongside his work as a comic book author.

 

Watch Nie Jun at the 20th ilb on our YouTube-Channel: https://youtu.be/qywwLLeN7tQ