May 19 1956: Radio Malaya Broadcasted in Singapore

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Listening to Niubizi’s Broadcast

By Li Ruolian

China’s reputed cartoonist Mr Huang Yao, whose pen-name is Niubizi, is almost well-known locally and overseas. This is because over the last twenty years, he has written twenty or more types of cartoon collection in both Chinese and English. I remembered that locally I have seen many of his works which included "Chinese People in Wartime", "Chongqing in Cartoon", "Guilin in Cartoon", "Kunming in Cartoon", "Guiyang in Cartoon", "A Good Man", "A Good General", "A Good Commissioner" and so on. Naturally, the most admirable part about Mr Huang Yao is his creation of the typical character Niubizi, which is deeply philosophical, rich in human touch, humorous and full of educational significance. His works reproduced in European and American newspapers and magazines had translated his name as Niupitze or Newbits. Mr Huang himself liked the latter, as he felt that it has both the meaning and same pronunciation. In short, the pen-name Niubizi is very famous in the cartoon circles.

In those years, the publications of Mr Huang's book of "Ten Talks on Niubizi" caused a sensation throughout the country. Primary and secondary schools nationwide had adopted it as textbook or reference material, as it really inspired students' thoughts and has the effect of assisting and improving youths' abilities to learn the fine arts. In fact, Mr Huang has very high attainments in calligraphy and traditional Chinese paintings, except that his cartoonist's fame have overshadowed them It is not uncommon to find locals or foreigners who can write "Zuo Shu" but Mr Huang's ability to write "Inverted Writing" on the spot is an unprecedented stunt.

During the Sino-Japanese War, Mr Huang once collected students’ cartoon works of more than ten thousand pieces nationwide, for a roving exhibition in the home front. Later, he lectured “Cartoons” at the University of Nanking’s Faculty of Audio Video Education, and had also been to Nankai University and Fudan University for public lecture on calligraphy.

In recent years, Mr Huang was in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and other places. His works included "Contradiction", "Scenes of Vietnam", "Son’s Education", "Mister Fluke", "Sketch of Siam" and other albums. Recently Mr Huang was invited by our local Chinese Society to come south for a tour. Just within a short stay of a few weeks, he unexpectedly completed over fifty frames of "Malaya Niubizi". I was hit by an accidental chance and given priority to seeing these new works. His used emotions-filled technique of writing to depict the characteristics of the Malay people. Shortly as said, these works would be exhibited at the Niubizi Cartoon Exhibition organized by the Chinese Society and to meet up with everybody.

The Radio Malaya Chinese School Group, for the sake of improving Chinese students’ interest and awareness in writing cartoons, had specially invited Mr Huang for a special public broadcast, titled "Today you will start writing Cartoons!" It had already been broadcasted on the 19th of this month from 11:10 am to 11:30 am in the program "In Search of a Voice in Art". After listening to it, I found it very interesting. This is especially so in these days where comic strips and picture comic strips flood, there is a need to advocate writing cartoons. As such it was specially recorded as an offer to the readers.

The following is the summary of Mr Huang Yao’s speech in the broadcast:

X       X        X

My topic is: "Today you will start writing cartoons"! Originally I did not learn cartoons but then I thought that writing cartoons is interesting and meaningful. Let’s take this real world, society, family, and class as my painting school; on the one hand I am observing, on the other I am thinking, and slowly I started to paint.

I would like to ask you: What is the most interesting thing? Swimming? Ball games? Watching movies? Listening to jokes? These are interesting things. However, what is the most interesting thing? I see that every place, every corner, whether in the street; in the reading room, lying in bed, and even secretly in the classroom; everyone is reading cartoons, no matter whether it is colourful, monochromatic; big book, small book, in the magazine; newspaper or in dribs and drabs. Contents wise, no matter whether it is talking about cowboys, or talking about ghosts, or even talking about love. In short, we believe that reading comics is one of the most interesting things, otherwise, who is willing to pay to read it? Therefore, I need to say further: If you can draw it yourself, isn’t it more interesting? You individually think it out but thousands of people would like to read it. After reading it, they have to learn from you, does that make more sense?

Speaking of the two Chinese characters "meaning", we need to have a clear mind to differentiate, what is meaningful? What is not meaningful? Therefore, they have to distinguish between how to paint to make sense and which kind of paintings is meaningless? Being meaningless means soulless, being soulless means lifeless; being lifeless means truth-less. Suppose I say a meaningless sentence, you can scold me for sprouting "nonsense". Then, when you looked at a meaningless painting, you must have seen a piece of “useless painting” (a painting without any use). However in the society at present, it is full of these meaningless paintings. Be it fights, murders, pornography, dreadful ghosts and monsters, and those that influence you to indulge in flights of fancy and conjectures, may I ask do you want them? Of course you do not want. But why do tens of thousands of people still fascinated to read them? It was because these people lacked the resolve and they had lost their soul, life and truth, and they seemed to have gone crazy and just wanted to read to satisfy a craving. As you know, some addictions are poisons. Isn't the opium and excessive drinking have the same effects of satisfying a craving? That is because of having been poisoned.

Please beware of being poisoned by cartoons such as the likes of picture comic strips. Therefore I urge you as a cartoon creator, create good cartoons. Do paint cartoons with educational meanings, as this is equal to having done the job of rescuing people and rescuing the world. This is because tens of thousands of people young and old, men and women wallows in bad cartoons every day. The cartoon is really a piece of educational work about society, family and school.

Then you will ask me: "Oh I don’t how to draw and I have never painted it before? I also have no talent in painting?" You may even want to say: "Painting is a profession meant for the artists who depended on it for a living!" Haha, this is the real joke. However what we need now is to paint meaningfully. To be meaningful is to have educational value, which is to have wise thinking. With meanings, there will be soul and life. In other words, this painting has painted out the truth. That is to say, it does not matter whether the painting is beautiful or not, but as long as you use your brains; and put all your thoughts on paper for everyone to see, that will do. Now, the problem is between “resemble” and “don’t resemble” when these thoughts are on paper.

When you are young you always like to play with the “bi” -- use pencil or chalk to do graffiti on paper, on stone plates, even on the books, walls, or doors? Now why did you stop doing graffiti? "You will say:" Oh, when I was a kid I was innocent, I don’t understand, that’s why I did graffiti". So I will then ask you:" Now have you grown up? Or even old already, okay? Don’t you know better? Isn’t being innocent good? This is because if you are not innocent, you cannot paint them out. Do not be afraid, do not scruple, paint whatever you see; paint out as much as possible of what you think. It does not matter if your cartoons do not resemble the real thing or if they do not look good. This is because cartoons do not need you to draw attractively, but you must draw the summons of your heart, the life in your heart (your innermost feelings)!” It is very difficult for one to bloom one’s talents in the soul. This, if you are not oppressed in the heart and brains, then you are a creator. All inventions of scientists as well as any successful person will need to send out this “flash”! Therefore, it is to say that cartoons are paintings to show things in their true colours, a kind of paintings that are not hypocritical not made up. We can say cartoons are intelligent paintings.

We know about "Ren Nai Heng Qie (forbearance and perseverance)". The Chinese character “Heng” means everlasting; the Chinese character “Qie” means is realistic. All you need is to remember these words, day by day you paint graffiti, and very soon you will be able paint and will paint very well. Paint whatever you see and paint whatever you think. It is not necessary to take an individual as the teacher, just let the nature be the teacher as how many great painters or poets own a doctorate? It is not necessary to take an individual as the teacher, just let the nature be the teacher as how many great painters or poets own a doctorate? Pushkin was not only a great poet, he also painted. His paintings were graffiti, have characters, have poetries, weren’t they the most amorous cartoons?

Wasn’t "Mickey Mouse" created by its creator Walter Disney during his most destitute period when he saw a mischievous mouse and started to draw it out? There was a cartoonist who wanted to paint a dog sticking out its tongue while breathing, panting ha ya ha ya. The painter studied the dog using the mirror, by sticking out his own tongue and pant ha ya ha ya in the mirror. In the end, he drew a dog with life and human nature that we see on the silver screen. Isn’t this a very interesting matter? Starting from today, you might as well put pen to paper and draw every day. After three months, you will certainly be able to paint decently, be up to the mark and complete a cartoon successfully. At this time, you must distinguish in your writings whether they are realistic, lyrical, satirical, humorous, comical or funny. In short, they need to have meanings and educational values. In this way, your paintings have successfully become the world's cultures nutrition. Those who see your paintings, regardless of men or women, old or young, is like you providing them with nutrition, enabling everybody to have the growing up vitality; and helping the world to move towards a truly healthy path. Otherwise, if humans’ nerves remain in unhealthy state, how will the world be normal, healthy and genuinely peaceful?

The humour in cartoons is but MSG in nutritious food. With MSG, it will of course be fresher, more delicious and tastier to the people who eat it. To manufacture this kind of MSG, you must have your own optimistic outlook on life, observing everything; becoming thoroughly aware, to be in line with the dominating forces of nature. That way, your humour will come out and not stay in selfishness, in self-intoxication and in the hatred retaliation of megalomania. The above said educational values and core meanings, the most important point lies in this. Otherwise, the meanings will not glow, the value and power of education will become private property, become very pitiful, become locked in a pink glass cage, silver box or freezer. Actually the material for cartoons is everywhere, the family influences the society, the society influences the world, these questions, and each is a cartoon's theme. The world needs to progress, the society is also transforming every day. That is to say, the material for making cartoons is really bountiful and inexhaustible. Then, why don't you take a few minutes every day to carefully look at these materials to draw an interesting picture? It not only does not need you to spend your money, it also helps you to exercise your brains and produce cartoons that are beneficial to you and everybody isn't it a very interesting matter?

Therefore, I say that today you will start writing cartoons!

X                               X                                        X                                   X

After listening to this segment of Mr. Huang Yao’s broadcast, I think everyone can put their pens to paper to draw cartoons. This is because cartoons are not only the main department in the publishing industry, but is also popular among people. It moves in tandem with the newspapers and magazines, and is a tremendous force in the culture of education. The British publication, "PUNCH" is a cartoon magazine and has been around for more than 100 years, but cartoon magazines such as America’s ”The New Yorker “ and Soviet Union's "Krokodil",  are all top-selling big publications in the world. The "Krokodil" cartoon magazine even has several crocodile-shaped aircrafts to transport it. During the Second World War, they were active in the forefront, the rear, as well as the enemy's positions and have played very major roles.

Mr. Huang Yao was the former editor of the Shanghai Business News for many years and we can say that he is a veteran of the cultural sector. Now this experienced veteran is here, I trust that the local media and friends from the education sector are willing to help and promote the cartoon movement.

Source: May 22, 1956 Nanyang Siang Pau (Nanyang Shangbao), page 12


 


Listening to Niubizi’s Broadcast
Original article was published on 22nd May, 1956 in Singapore Nanyang Siang Pau (Nanyang Shangbao). This is a special reproduction, with thanks.
By Li Ruolian

China’s reputed cartoonist, Mr. Huang Yao, whose pen-name is Niubizi, is well-known locally and overseas by almost everyone. This is because over the last twenty years, he has published  thirty or more books of cartoons in both Chinese and English. I remember that locally, I have seen many of his works which included "Chinese People in Wartime", "Chongqing in Cartoon", "Guilin in Cartoon", "Kunming in Cartoon", "Guiyang in Cartoon", "A Good Man", "A Good General", "A Good Commissioner" and so on. Naturally, the most admirable part about Mr. Huang Yao is his creation of the classical character Niubizi, which is deeply philosophical, rich in human touch, humorous and full of educational significance. His works have been reproduced in European and American newspapers and magazines had translated his name as Niu Pi Tze or Newbits. Mr. Huang himself liked the latter, as he felt that it has both the meaning and same pronunciation. In short, the pen-name Niubizi is very famous in the cartoon circles.

In those years, the publications of Mr. Huang's book of "Ten Talks on Niubizi" caused a sensation throughout the country. Primary and secondary schools nationwide had adopted it as textbooks or reference material, as it had really inspired the thoughts of the students' and also had the effect of assisting and improving the abilities of the youth to learn about art. In fact, Mr. Huang has very high attainments in calligraphy and traditional Chinese paintings, except that his fame as a cartoonist have overshadowed his artistic abilities. It is not uncommon to find locals or foreigners who can write "Zuo Shu" (with their left hand) but Mr. Huang's ability to write "Inverted Writing" on the spot is an unprecedented stunt.

During the Sino-Japanese War, Mr. Huang once collected cartoon works from students, this amounted to more than ten thousand pieces nationwide, for a roving exhibition in the home front. Later, he lectured about “Cartoons” at the Faculty of Audio Video Education in the University of Nanking (金陵大学)) and had also been to Nankai University and Fudan University for public lectures on the drawing of cartoons.

In recent years, Mr. Huang was in Hong Kong, Vietnam, Thailand and other places. His works included "Contradiction", "Scenes of Vietnam", "Son’s Education", "Mister Fluke", "Sketch of Siam" and other albums. Recently, Mr. Huang was invited by our local Chinese Society to come south for a tour. Just within a short stay of a few weeks, he unexpectedly completed over fifty frames of "Malaya Niubizi". I was struck by good luck and given priority to seeing these new works. He  used “touching on lightly” technique of writing and painting to depict the traditions of the Malay people. Soon these works would be exhibited publicly at the “Niubizi Cartoon Exhibition” organized by the China Society. (Note: The exhibition was held from 28th of June till 4th of July at the Singapore British Council. The Minister of Education, Zhou Ruiqi presided over by the opening ceremony, which was splendid.)

Radio Malaya Chinese School Group, in their efforts to improve the Chinese students’ interest and awareness in drawing cartoons, had specially invited Mr. Huang for a special public broadcast, titled "Today you can start drawing Cartoons!" It had already been broadcasted on the 19th of this month from 11:10 am to 11:30 am in the program, "In Search of a Voice in Art". After listening to it, I found it very meaningful. This is especially so in these days where comic strips and small picture books flood the market, there is a need to advocate drawing cartoons. As such it was specially recorded as an offer to the readers.

The following is the summary of Mr Huang Yao’s speech in the broadcast:

My topic is: "Today you can start drawing cartoons"! Originally I did not learn how to draw cartoons but then I thought that cartooning is interesting and meaningful. Taking this real world, society, family, and class as my painting school; I observe, and think, and slowly I started to draw.

I would like to ask you: What is an interesting activity? Swimming? Ball games? Watching movies? Listening to jokes? These are interesting things to do. However, what is the most interesting of them all? I see that every place, every corner, whether in the streets; in the reading room, lying in bed, and even secretly in the classroom; everyone is reading cartoons, no matter whether it is colourful, monochromatic; big book, small book, or odds and ends in the magazine and newspaper. Content wise, no matter whether it is about cowboys, or   ghosts, or even about love. In short, we would agree that reading comics is one of the most interesting things to do, otherwise, who is willing to pay to read it? Therefore, I would like to add: If you can draw it yourself, isn’t it more interesting? It is of your individual thoughts but thousands of people would like to read it. After reading it, they would like to learn from you, doesn't that make more sense?

Speaking of the two Chinese characters "meaning", we need to have a clear mind to differentiate, what is meaningful? What is not meaningful? One has to distinguish between how to paint to make sense and which kind of paintings are meaningless? Being meaningless means soulless, being soulless means lifeless; being lifeless means without truth. Suppose I say a meaningless sentence, you can scold me for sprouting "nonsense". Then, if you look at a meaningless painting, you would have seen a piece of “useless painting” (a painting without any use). However in the society at present, it is full of these meaningless paintings. Be it about fights, murders, pornography, dreadful ghosts and monsters, and those that influence you to indulge in flights of fancy and fantasy, may I ask, do you want them? Of course not,  but why are tens of thousands of people fascinated in reading them? It is because these people lack resolve and have lost their soul, life and truth, and they seem to have gone crazy and are reading to satisfy a craving. As you know, some addictions are poisons. Don’t opium and excessive drinking have the same effects as satisfying a craving? That is because one is being poisoned.

Please beware of being poisoned by cartoons, such as the likes of the picture comic strips. I urge you as a cartoon creator to create good cartoons. Paint cartoons with educational meaning, as this is equal to having done the job of rescuing people and rescuing the world. This is because tens of thousands of people, young and old, men and women wallow in bad cartoons every day. The cartoon is really a piece of educational work about society, family and school.

You may ask me: "Oh! I don’t how to draw and I have never painted before? I also have no talent in painting?" You may even want to say: "Painting is a profession meant for the artists who depended on it for a living!" Haha, this is a joke. Making a  beautiful or splendid picture has something to do with artist. However, what we need now is to draw meaningfully. To be meaningful is to have educational value, which is to have wisdom in meaning. With meanings, there will be soul and life. In other words, this painting has painted the truth. It does not matter whether the painting is beautiful or not, but as long as you use your brains; and put all your thoughts on paper for everyone to see, that will do. The problem lies between “resemblance” and “non resemblance” when these thoughts are on paper.

As a child, one likes to play with “bi” [brush], using pencil or chalk to do graffiti on paper, on stone board, even on books, walls, or doors? Now why did you stop doing graffiti? You may say, "Oh, when I was a kid I was innocent, I didn’t understand much, that’s why I did graffiti". So I will then ask you, "Now have you grown up? Or you may be old, don’t you think being innocent is good enough? This is because if you are not innocent, you cannot express your thoughts in pictures. Do not be afraid, do not worry, draw whatever you see;  draw as much as possible of what you think. It does not matter if your cartoons do not resemble the real thing or if they do not look good. This is because cartoons do not need you to draw attractively, but you must draw the summons of your heart, the life in your heart (your innermost feelings)!” It is very difficult for one’s soul to blossom. If you are not oppressed in the heart and brains, then you are a creator. All inventions of scientists as well as any successful person will need to originate from a “flash” like this! Therefore, it is to say that cartoons are paintings to show things in their true colours, a kind of painting that are not hypocritical nor made up. We can say cartoons are wise paintings.

We know about "Ren Nai Heng Qie (forbearance and perseverance)". The Chinese character “Heng” means everlasting; the Chinese character “Qie” means is realistic. All you need is to remember these words and day-by-day as you draw graffiti, very soon you will be able draw and will draw very well. Draw whatever you see and paint whatever you think. It is not necessary to take an individual as the teacher, just let the nature be the teacher as how many great painters or poets own a doctorate? Pushkin was not only a great poet, he also painted. His paintings were graffiti, have characters, have poetry, weren’t they the most interesting of cartoons?

Wasn’t "Mickey Mouse" created by its creator, Walter Disney during his most destitute period when he saw a mischievous mouse and started to draw it? There was a cartoonist who wanted to paint a dog sticking out its tongue while breathing, panting “ha-ya ha-ya”. The painter studied the dog using a mirror, by sticking out his own tongue and paint ha-ya ha-ya in the mirror. In the end, he drew a dog with life and human nature that we see on the silver screen. Isn’t this a very interesting matter? Starting from today, you might as well put pen to paper and draw every day. After three months, you will certainly be able to paint decently, be up to the mark and complete a cartoon successfully. At this time, you must distinguish in your drawings whether they are realistic, lyrical, satirical, humorous, comical or funny. In short, they need to have meanings and educational values. In this way, your paintings will successfully become part of the world's culture and nutrition. Everyone, regardless of age and gender who see your paintings, will be nurtured by your paintings, enabling them to grow with vitality; helping the world to move towards a truly healthy path. Otherwise, if the mentality of humans’ remain in an unhealthy state, how will the world be normal, healthy and genuinely peaceful?

The humour in cartoons is but an additive in nutritious food. With this additive, it will of course taste fresher, more delicious and tastier to the people who eat it. To produce this kind of additive, you must have your own optimistic outlook on life and to observe everything; becoming thoroughly aware, to be in line with the dominating forces of nature. That way, your humour will emerge and not stay in selfishness, in self-intoxication and in the hatred retaliation of the ego. What I have thus far said are that educational values and core meaning are the most important points to take home. When meaning fades, the value and power of education will become private property, become very pitiful, become locked in a pink glass cage, silver box or freezer. The material for cartoons is everywhere, the family influences the society, the society influences the world, these questions each is a cartoon theme. The world needs to progress, society is also transforming every day. Material for making cartoons is really bountiful and inexhaustible. Why don't you take a few minutes every day to carefully look at these material to draw an interesting picture? It not only is free, it also helps you to exercise your brain and produce cartoons that are beneficial to you and everybody, isn't this a very interesting matter?

Therefore, I say that today you should start drawing cartoons!

Source: Newbits, Published in 1st December 1956


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