Fang Chen, professor of graphic design, was awarded first place for his cartoon, Myopia, at the 4th International Patio Brasil Environmental Humor Show – ECOCARTOON 2011. The event is a competitive exhibition of humorous drawings whose main objective is to provoke reflection regarding a specific theme. This year’s theme was “Conservation of Biodiversity.” The competition organizer received entries from many countries around the world, including Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, China, England, Germany, Indonesia, Korea, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine and the United States etc.
Chen’s winning work was chosen from 100 finalists selected by a jury. Myopia depicts an in-focus dollar sign on top of out-of-focus animals and plants. “Nowadays many people around the world are suffering from myopia,” Chen says. “They can’t see anything clearly—including themselves—except DOLLAR.” Myopia, is also an “image only” artwork, reflecting Chen’s extensive experience in this field of graphic design. Traditional designs mingle text and images to communicate the message. “It’s very common that designs propose questions and answer their own questions with convincing text and images,” Chen says. “However, as a designer, I have found designs with appropriate imagery as the only visual element reach a much broader audience regardless of language and culture differences.”
Chen’s work has appeared in many international prestigious exhibitions and publications, and he has received numerous awards, include the First Prize of the 9th Chaumont International Poster and Graphic Arts Festival of France, the Top Prize of the 11th Colorado International Invitational Poster Biennial, the Grand Prix of the 4th Trnava International Poster Triennial of Slovakia, and the Gold Award of the 1st Hong Kong International Poster Triennial of China. Feature articles about Chen have appeared in World Graphic Design (London), New Masters of Poster Design, Idea (Tokyo), Novum (Munich), and Print and Graphis (New York).