Scholar (1951 – 1967)
Huang Yao traveled extensively through Asia including Vietnam, Thailand and especially, Singapore and Malaysia.
He was impressed by the diligence, determination and preservation of the Chinese culture by the immigrant Chinese in a foreign land and how they would help the less fortunate ones among the community.
This prompted him to write a book about the Chinese immigrant’s journey, their struggles and success stories. It took him ten years of research and writing in order to publish The History of Chinese in
Malaysia and Singapore. The book contains information of immigrant Chinese based on historical documents in China.
He visited museums, associations, cemeteries and other important landmarks and also interviewed many Chinese leaders. The book is an important source and reference book in major libraries throughout Asia and is being translated into English.
During the 1950s in Bangkok, he experimented with using the Chinese painting techniques for scenes outside China, breaking the misconception that Chinese painting techniques cannot be used to paint what the artist can see.
In 1956, he was invited by Minister of Education (later Prime Minister of Malaysia), Tun Razak to help with education policies in this new country. He assisted in setting up adult education schools and libraries throughout the country.
It was after the completion of The History of Chinese in Malaysia and Singapore that he set himself another important mission, to conduct in depth research into the origin of Chinese characters. Ancient Chinese characters were of incomparable beauty to him, a cultural treasure of China.
He left several large bodies of sketches, documenting his research of pictographs which was the starting point for his later works. He combined what he considered the three treasures of China – ancient Chinese characters, the Chinese calligraphy, brush and ink techniques to produce "Wenzi Hua" (paintings of Chinese characters), which later led to him painting western looking abstract forms and compositions, termed, "Ziyou Hua" (abstract art).