September 10 1944 Zhengyi Bao : Beyond the Exhibition

 

Zhengyibao (Kunming) (10 September 1944), p. 4.

Beyond the Exhibition by Min

Mr. Huang Yao says: “As we comfort the honored brethren who have returned from overseas, so we encourage other brethren to go abroad to serve the country; as we succeed in comforting the veterans, so do we come closer to achieving victory.”

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Kunming in Cartoons was completed in Guizhou through the quiet process of reworking the sketches he had brought back from Kunming after being invited to visit the city some months ago. As a result each painting is fresh, refined and lyrical. 

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I recall that several years ago Mr. Huang held the Guiyang in Cartoons exhibition for the city of Guiyang. The public exhibition was as crowded as a market day, with even some Miao minority compatriots hurrying to see the show. Later on the Guizhou government requested these masterpieces stay longer in the city, and asked that Mr. Huang’s Guiyang Recitation (Guiyang de langsong) along with its foreword became one of Guizhou’s provincial documents. This should give you some idea of the value of Manhua Kunming.

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Aside from Kunming in Cartoons  and Guilin in Cartoons appearing in this exhibition, the “travel cartoons” of Huang Yao that I know of include Chongqing in Cartoons (Manhua Chongqing), The Secondary Capital in Cartoons (Manhua Peidu), Travel Notes from Hunan (Lü Xiang xiaojian), and An Outing to the Miao Region (Miao qu xiaofang).

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Most of his friends only know that Mr. Huang can draw, while only a few know Mr. Huang can write poetry, and fewer still know that Mr. Huang can write calligraphy. In particular, he has mastered an unprecedented feat: Mandarin Duck calligraphy. That is, he writes upside-down; thus the name “inverted Mandarin Duck.”

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I love Mr. Huang’s paintings. They aren’t “drawn” but rather “written” in the manner of calligraphy, so in every painting his brushwork and lines are distinct and improvisatory and endlessly lyrical, as can readily be seen in the works in this exhibition.

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I know that he was asked to have one of his major works, Chinese People in War-Time (Zhangzheng zhong de Zhongguoren) (in first draft form) shipped from Guilin. Bilingual in Chinese and English, it was published in Guilin two years ago, with introductions by the US and British embassies. It is a pity that the original drawings were destroyed by artillery fire in Hengyang!

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In conclusion let me say I hope that when more brave brethren are dispatched abroad, Huang Yao will again be invited to give an exhibition. This time they are comforted on their return, next time they will be comforted upon departure!

(Translated by John A. Crespi, Henry R. Luce Associate Professor of Chinese, Colgate University)

Download PDF: Zhengyibao (Kunming) (10 September 1944), p. 4.