The Big Issue Taiwan is celebrating its tenth anniversary this year. It hasn’t exactly been the most ideal celebration. But Kuen-hua Shiu (Hua for short) first became a magazine vendor back in March 2010, returned to his work with the magazine in November 2019, and is still going even as COVID-19 has affected sales. You’ll find him in the pedestrian arcade at Dingxi Station in New Taipei City sitting on his mobility scooter, wearing his orange vendor’s vest and waiting to greet his customers.
Mr. Huang sells The Big Issue Taiwan from his pitch outside the Qizhang metro station in Taipei. His life changed five years ago when two workplace accidents and a cancer diagnosis transformed his physical health. Having made peace with the past, Huang is grateful that being a Big Issue vendor provides him with a steady income and is looking forward to the future with hope.
Last night, at the 2018 INSP Awards, The Big Issue Taiwan was victorious in the Best Design category. Part of their win can be put down to the work of Aaron (Yung-chen Nieh) who, remarkably, designed 95 out of the last 100 covers of the street paper. His contemporary and stylish designs have endowed the covers of the magazine with a unique visual style that has not only proved popular with readers, but which has also attracted a great deal of attention from professional designers. For the magazine’s 100th issue, Aaron shared his insights regarding how to design an effective front cover and talked more about his work with The Big Issue Taiwan.
Chen has been selling The Big Issue Taiwan at Xihu Station since the start of this year. Business is up and down, but he is determined to succeed: he chose his pitch at Xihu Station after realising there weren’t any vendors already working there and he has made the spot his own. Here, he looks back on his life and expresses his gratitude to those who have helped him through difficult times.
For many street paper vendors, getting the opportunity to sell the paper us a lifeline. For Long-Zhu, Li, in Taiwan, this is no different, and his sales figures for the past year are his proudest achievement of 2017.