Lot 019

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

KAMPUNG LIFE 偕行 , 1980

Signed and dated in Chinese with seal (upper right), Chinese seal (lower left)
Ink & colour on rice paper mounted on scroll
47cm x 37cm

Private collection, Kuala Lumpur; acquired directly from the artist.

ESTIMATE  RM 10,000 - 15,000


 Deriving from Huang Yao’s Nanyang series, Kampung Life is executed in his unique Chinese ink brushwork – bold lines of strokes in varying degree and intensity – illustrating life in the village for a mother and her two children. Red ink wash is applied liberally on the background portraying the morning sky when the family is set to start their day outdoors in the sun.

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 was displayed at the National Visual Arts Gallery, Kuala Lumpur in 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.