1980 A Short Nap
No doubt, Huang Yao’s lively happy children at play besides entertaining; the viewers are able to see plainly the humor, joy, friendship, cooperation, freedom, creativity and imagination revealed among the children. Even his children at rest are adorable, They remind the parents of their experience of lovingly looking on their peaceful sleeping children. However, these 2 boys, aware of their responsibility of not losing their firewood, are not in deep slumber.
The title ‘Xiao Qi’ means take a short nap. The two children in the painting are supposed to take a short rest, but they are falling asleep in a sitting position; leaning against the bundles of firewood that they have collected. They had carried the bundles of firewood, one on each end of the pole for quite a distance; they are tired and need a rest. The boy on the left is in half way lying down position. Is the bundle able to hold his weight? Will he topple over and wake up? Huang Yao did a series of children gathering firewood beginning with picking, then carrying, resting, sleeping, waking, transporting and finally storing them. He is able to make seemingly ordinary activity into art.