Top chef slips out of the kitchen to meet Taiwanese illustrating ace

PUBLISHED : Monday, 24 March, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 24 March, 2008, 12:00am

One of the biggest fans of top Taiwanese illustrator Jimmy Liao Fu-bin (right) is also one of this city's top chefs, Jacky Yu Kin-chi (left). The popular but publicity-shy artist's first decade of work is being feted by Times Square with an exhibition of his drawings, displays and even sculpture. At the Friday afternoon opening, the introverted Liao managed to open up a bit as he addressed fans, including Yu, the television host and proprietor of the Xi Yan chain of eateries.

'I actually enjoy working alone in a very quiet environment,' Liao said. 'Although I have the freedom to create art for a living, often it's a very painful process. So in addition to the drawings, I want to share my thoughts on life, people and things that happen around me in general. That's why I add words to the picture. It's cathartic for me.'

Liao's sensitive and lyrical stories and pictures are also the reason why Yu decided to skip work in the kitchen for a chance to meet his idol. 'I've liked Jimmy since his first illustrated book in 1998. I have almost every one in my collection. My favourite is his book on cats. My other favourite is Turn Left Turn Right.' The exhibition continues until April 6.