1970s Happy Shouxing or Diety of Longevity
Huang Yao applied the spirit of being a child to his paintings of Shou Xing, the Deity of longevity. An old man who shows the signs of antiquity is usually chosen to represent Shou Xing. But Huang Yao’s Shou Xing can be kind, lively or contented and childlike. There are paintings of a hundred Shou Xing as lively, happy old men arriving at the party by deers: they drink, both tea and wine; make music and dance; write calligraphy and paint; telling stories and eat longevity dumplings; play board games and generally having a good time while cranes are waiting to transport them home.
There are paintings of Shou Xing with playful children around him as in the following painting. In this happy, imaginative painting, the amused deity of longevity Shou Xing allows the child in red to play with his ear. The small boy in yellow at the left corner is lighting a firecracker, which will make a big bang to test whether Shou Xing is really hard of hearing. The boy in blue, is he stopping or en-couraging the boy in yellow to go ahead?