巴西男孩來台灣圓漫畫夢 將檳榔西施推上國際舞台 | Brazilian portrays stories of Taiwan ‘betel nut beauties’ through comics

【看CP學英文】30歲的漫畫家盧卡斯來自巴西薩爾瓦多,在9月出版了他的漫畫作品《檳榔美少女》,他坦言創作過程中壓力不少,據他觀察「檳榔西施」這個行業很有爭議性,然而他認為社會文明越來越進步,價值觀也應該與時俱進,不要因為自我的主觀意識造成對特定職業的歧視。

Hailing from Salvador, Brazil, 30-year-old Lucas Paixão published a comic book last month, featuring a Taiwanese “betel nut beauty” as its central figure.

In an interview with NOWnews and The China Post, he acknowledged that the process was quite grueling as he understood being a “betel nut beauty” was a bit of a controversial occupation choice.

However, he believes that society has changed greatly in the past few years and thinks that it’s time for people’s values and thoughts towards certain things to catch up. 

Paixao also believes that one shouldn’t discriminate against certain types of occupation based on personal prejudice.

1990年出生的盧卡斯,跟台灣許多7年級生一樣著迷於日漫,他早早就定下成為一個漫畫家的夢想,在當時網路剛興起,為了找尋日漫歌曲,他陰錯陽差的看到了台灣女團S.H.E的音樂MV,盧卡斯因此與台灣有一段美麗的邂逅,他從偶像劇和歌曲中學習中文。

Born in 1990, Paixao has loved to read Japanese comic books and had wanted to be a comic-book artist from the very beginning since childhood.

When the Internet became more prevalent and accessible, Paixao began searching online for Japanese cartoons’ theme songs, and accidentally downloaded a music video of Taiwanese girl pop group, S.H.E.

From there Paixao has begun to learn Chinese from these songs and other Taiwanese TV shows.

2014年盧卡斯到台北藝術大學美術系就讀研究所,就讀研究所期間盧卡斯面臨創作的難題,即使課堂中被教導創作有許多不同的形式,但也有許多人認為「漫畫不是藝術的一環」或者「漫畫是一種很低俗的藝術」,這些評論都曾令盧卡斯自我懷疑,也對漫畫家之路感到擔憂,最後他決定跟著心中感覺走,在人體上畫出一格一格的漫畫。

In 2014, Paixao started pursuing a master’s degree at the Taipei National University of Arts. 

However, he began to realize that some people did not deem “comic-book drawings” as art or categorized it as part of a “lower-class” art form.

Determined to change their minds, Paixao decided to use bodies as canvases and portrayed his artwork through his models.

每個人的身體都是獨一無二的畫布,觀眾在面對這些片段故事時,有些可以坦然接受、有些望之卻步、更有人害羞到完全不忍直視。

To Paixao, every body is a different canvas and people have different reactions to bodies; therefore, giving the stories being told many unique interpretations.

第一次接觸到檳榔西施,盧卡斯是在台灣電影《幫幫我愛神》中,看到少女穿著薄紗在玻璃屋裡販賣檳榔,那時以為檳榔攤是電影特別打造的虛構場景。

The first time Paixao heard of “betel nut beauties” was when watching the Taiwanese movie, “Help Me Eros.” 

In the film, the main character sold betel nuts in a glass store, and Paixao initially thought the storyline was merely fiction, and not based on a real occupation.

Lucas’ knew of betel nut beauties after viewing “Help Me Eros”. (Screengrab from NOWnews video)

當他到台灣後發現檳榔西施是一個真實存的行業時令他震懾不已。同樣身為台灣漫畫家《用九柑仔店》的作者阮光民形容:「檳榔西施文化,在地人的描寫大多傾向社會底層陰暗面」、「從他(盧卡斯)的創作卻能看到濃厚的色彩繽紛的生命力」,盧卡斯的創理念就是「追求能激起讀者快樂、悲傷、好奇或疑惑,會長久留在心中的故事」也因為如此他筆下的人物總是能令人動容。

When he arrived in Taiwan, he was shocked to find that there were actual “betel nut beauties”. 

A contemporary of Paixao has been quoted describing his creations and depictions of betel nut beauties as vibrant characters that succeed in enticing feelings of happiness, sadness, curiosity and confusion from his readers.

The heroine of Lucas’ comic book is a betel nut beauty in Taiwan. (Screengrab from NOWnews video)

盧卡斯的人生經驗並非全是陽光普照,他來自單親家庭,身為黑人在巴西會受到歧視的異樣眼光,這些生命體驗都融入了他的創作中,來到台灣後他覺得台灣是一個幸福的城市,充滿平等、包容與接納,在這樣自由創作的國度裡,盧卡斯相信即使走的很辛苦,但只要堅持就有機會實現。

Although his stories are most uplifting, Paixao’s life has not been without its challenges.

As a person of color coming from a single-parent household, he has faced his fair share of discriminatory acts and gazes.

This led him to appreciate Taiwan even more and deem it as a peaceful and harmonious nation.

To him, Taiwan is accepting and tolerant, which enables him to create art freely, without restriction.

Here, Paixao holds the conviction that though the road may be tough, as long as one holds out, dreams do come true.