May 17 1980 Painters and paintings: Niubizi Huang Yao

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This newspaper clipping is found in the Foundation's database. Newspaper unknown date stated 17 May 1980.

Painters and paintings: Niubizi Huang Yao

Forty years ago, Niubizi was already very famous in China. His educational cartoons were published daily in the Ta Kung Pao. Ta Kung Pao was the most influential newspaper that enjoyed the largest circulation in China then. As such, almost every family knows of Niubizi. Niubizi’s creator’s name is Huang Yao and his other lesser- known name is Huang Jia Tang. During the Sino-Japanese War, Niubizi cartoons focused mainly on anti-Japanese aggression. It was not only loved by the Chinese people but also the Japanese alike. His works on anti-Japanese aggression was also very popular in Japan.

Mr. Huang was originally from Zhejiang, China. During his childhood, he started to learn Chinese painting and calligraphy. In the earlier days [of his career], he was well-known across China for his Niubizi cartoons but he was mainly involved in the education sector and the media. During the Sino-Japanese war, he had travelled all over China. After the war, Huang and wife travelled to Thailand to help the cause of Chinese education. Subsequently, Huang was recruited as adult education specialist for Malaysia. He was the disciplinary master at Penang Han Chiang High School for many years. For more than ten years, he had served as Alor Star Xinmin Secondary School’s Principal. He retired in 1973.

When Mr. Huang was in Malaysia, although he rarely published cartoons, he did not stop practicing painting. That is why his “cartoon influenced” Chinese paintings’ composition is wonderful and the lines are so beautiful. It not only has a unique style but also a sense of humour; it is loved by almost everyone. The distinct characteristics of his paintings are the 3-dimensional feel, and the human figures in his paintings are so lifelike as if they are about to come out from the painting.

From the beginning of 1978, Mr. Huang has been painting on a daily basis in Kuala Lumpur as a form of self-entertainment. His paintings were mainly showcased in Kuala Lumpur’s Ji Zhen Zhuang Art Gallery, attracting a large following of collectors. In addition to painting, he is also committed to the research of ancient writing scripts and folklore. Consequently, his Chinese painting style possesses the unique Zhuanli script skills. His self-created “Zhuanwen Chinese paintings” (paintings of ancient Chinese characters) are antique-styled and humourous, very philosophical and they are evidently represented in the attached pictures. Mr. Huang's writing style is “inverted” and is known as “Chuyun Shu” [named] from ancient books. They carry humor and are lovable like his paintings.

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