Lot 032

b. China, 1917 - d. Kuala Lumpur, 1987


Calligraphy: Signed in Chinese with seal (lower left)
Ink Painting: Signed in Chinese with seal (upper right)
Ink and colour on rice paper mounted on scroll
30cm x 36.5cm (calligraphy)
45cm x 36.5cm (ink painting)

Private Collection, Kuala Lumpur

ESTIMATE  RM 12,000 - 15,000

One of life’s pleasurable moments - to be in the company of good friends listening to their lively chatter and banter accompanied by the lovely aroma of a well-boiled tea - is simply a delightful occasion. Created during the tail end of his Nanyang series with the delicate Bai Miao fine lines, this work has Huang Yao’s trademark cherubic children instead of the usual sages or literari types engrossed in boiling tea and sipping tea.

Huang Yao’s ancestor can be traced to Huang Xiang, a filial son of the Eastern Han Dynasty and through his father, Huang Hanzhong, he was taught the traditional Chinese arts of calligraphy, painting, classical literature, philology, history and philosophy. He was raised in an environment that strongly appreciates arts and culture. In 1935, Huang Yao became Art Editor of the Shanghai Post and drew a huge following with his cartoon character, Niubizi, which had also become his nom de plume, from 1934 to 1956. He had written and published numerous educational books namely A Chinese Soldier (1941) for the army during the war in China, Ten Talks on Niubizi for art classes in schools which was later translated into Malay language as Eight Talks on Niubizi, Chongqing in Cartoon (1943) and many more.

He travelled extensively during his lifetime, leaving China for Vietnam before moving to Thailand, Singapore and finally settling down in Malaysia. His legacy has seen a great resurgence since his retrospective exhibition in Singapore and Shanghai, China, in 2001 and 2011 respectively. More major museums are including works of Huang Yao into their list of pantheons. They include the British Museum, Ashmolen Museum, the National Palace Museum of Taiwan and the Shanghai Museum in China. A special memorial show titled The Remarkable Guest of Malaya attributed to Huang Yao was held at the National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur from July till October 2013.

Return To Innocence: Huang Yao’s Painting of Happy Children, Dr Tan May Ling.
Rediscovered Talent, Huang Yao: Cartoonist/Scholar/Painter,
Shanghai Art Museum, 2011.