15 March, 2012 : Niubizi Collage, 1936

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First I would like to thank Laura Pozzi, a PhD candidate for submitting this as well as many scholars who have provided and contributed their insights to this image. The link and corresponding writeup can be found here http://www.huangyao.org/1343.html.

I was very, very happy to see this image. I do enjoy seeing my granddad's work pop up from time to time, especially since we do not have a full account of what he had produced in China. This one was very "pretty" with its patterns in the background and striking colors. I recognised the Niubizi without arms and legs first as that is a cartoon I am familiar with, he had done a similar one where different parts of China's territory were taken away as if tearing away a Chinese person's limbs. I could not make out the Niubizi with the Hitler moustache, but several scholars have confirmed that that is Chiang Kai Shek with his well known cape but why is he stepping on the flag, what is the significance of placing Chiang's head on one of the flower like patterns? Who and how the missionaries fit into this collage, I am not sure.

This is the first piece of collage I have seen as a complete Niubizi piece of art. I have not seen any later work of Huang Yao like this though he did collect papercuts. I wonder how many more he could have done? I do know it is a clear statement of political art from the 1930s, expressed in a medium that was popular and contemporary at that time. Although I know the original is probably destroyed, I am happy that a copy has survived for me to feast my eyes upon and one day, I hope I will understand the meaning behind this collage.

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