Paintings in Foreign Environments
Huang Yao adapted various different Chinese ink painting techniques to paint what he saw and experienced in his travels through Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. Painting realistically was deviating from the traditional Chinese literati's way of painting "just the essence". Perhaps Huang Yao wanted to refute the mistaken belief that Chinese painting techniques cannot produce realistic paintings. He demonstrated how kongbi could be used in painting "Scenes of Vietnam". There are the monochrome and bai miao paintings of Thailand and paintings that exhibit calligraphic skills (such as caoshu) in the "Nanyang Scenes". With his sharp journalistic skills and keen artistic eyes, he picked out subjects with details relevant to the situation in that particular time and place.
For those who enjoy landscape paintings through this method, it is often that a whole day, a month or even a year can be spent without feeling tired, or weary when looking at a good piece of work. The viewer is not really looking at the beauty of the scenery instead he is appreciating 'every stroke', 'every dot' and 'every shade'. Should there be any defect in the calligraphy it is a sign that the artist was not an expert. If there is a lack of harmony in the intensity and texture of the ink it will not be a 'top grade' painting.
Huang Yao, Moyuan Suibi, 1982