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Picture Books Project /

Beyond healing and medicine – Interviewing with

Dennis Au

醫藥以外 —— 問。訪歐卓榮

Jumping out of classroom and consultation room,

Dennis reaches the new generation in a brand new way.



Interview in English translation

Q1. Have you read picture books? Have you thought of getting children to know Chinese medicinal culture through picture books?

I didn’t have a chance to read picture books when I was a kid, so I couldn’t name any book I like, not to mention making use such unfamiliar media. Since I knew Kung Chin Chin, I have paid more attention in picture books, and I realised kids can learn a lot from it.

Q2. What kids are up to? Is it difficult to promote Chinese medicinal culture?

They like pictures more than words, so they can easily learn new things from colourful and fun picture books. I had tried to talk to kids about Chinese medicine, but they couldn’t concentrate even for a while. So we need a new way and more interaction to catch their attention, and then teach them step by step.

Q3. You haven been taking part in young people’s activities, but now you’re getting along with kids. Any difference between the two?

Completely different. We can directly educate young people. Kids don’t have any chance to know Chinese medicine apart from seeing a practitioner. But with schools’ and parents’ influence, kids can learn about it better.

Q4. What do you think about the herbalist’s image in kids’ mind?

When kids first got to know me, they just thought I was not quite different from a Western doctor, like Dr Brown Bear in Peppa Pig (laughs). But gradually, they found some difference, like me holding their hands, asking them to show their tongues. These aroused their curiosity. They would ask why. This inspired them to think about the difference between Chinese and Western medicine.

Q5. How did you feel when you worked with Kung Chin Chin for the first time?

It’s quite thrilling and inspiring. I can’t imagine those dull words can presented with interesting drawings. When it started, we both agreed the contents need to be plain and simple, bringing Chinese medicinal culture into everyday life. When the concept of the books are in formation, we definitely expected kids will like it.

Q6. Did the books made your wish come true?

Yes, but more than that. I was really happy. I truly appreciate the drawing delicacy, the abundant colours and the rich wit in Kung Chin Chin’s work. When the work was done, it’s just the same as what we had imagined in our discussion.

Q7. Are you confident in the picture books’ impact?

My nephews read the books. They were quite interested, asking this and that, and wanted to know more. I think the books can arouse children to read. If their parents guide them to read, they can understand more easily. Children and parents will be getting closer as well.

Q8. What would you expect when the books are published?

I would expect more picture books on Chinese culture and Chinese medicinal culture will be published. It can be promoted to other Chinese places, like Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia… I’d also expect more language versions can be published.

Q9. At last, was this co-working fun?

It’s cheerful.

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