Stepping into Wan He Tang (Huang Yongyu's residence in Beijing - Ten Thousand Lotus Pond in English), more than ten dogs happily surrounded me. In Hong Kong, I also have two dogs. Joyously welcoming guests is also a happy thing to them. In front of Wan He Tang, Teacher Huang and his wife appeared. they treated me with not a trace of strangeness. when Teacher Huang was face to face with me, I didn't know why but a feeling of kindness washed over me. maybe it was the way Teacher Huang smoked his pipe, it reminded me of my dad.
接上文。我很久之前就注意有關黃老帥的點滴，他怎麼設計住的地方，他收集的木頭養的狗……奇怪我就是沒怎麼注意他的畫，都是通過報紙朋友的口得以有個印象。今這個下午我就處身於萬荷堂中，這裡的一草一石，一樑一柱， 一字一畫，一梯一桌，黃老師夫妻親切的笑聲， 都令我充滿環迴立體震撼的感覺。待续
I have paid attention to everything related to Teacher Huang for a very long time. How he designed the place he lives in, the wood he collects, the dogs he raises.... the funny thing is, I have never really paid attention to his paintings. It was always through newspapers and word of mouth that left an impression on me. This afternoon, I was at Wan He Tang, every blade of grass, every stone, every beam, every column, every word, every painting, every chair, every table, the kind laughter of Teacher Huang and his wife, it all filled me with a feeling of being surrounded with shock.
Taking the time and effort, I told Teacher Huang about some of the places I have been in the last 2, 3 years and some of the charity work I've done. Without another word, he gave me a painting he just painted recently and said it was to support my charity work. I told him I've never really paid attention to his paintings. What I meant is, I do not know enough about his paintings to say anything about it, but it doesn't mean that i didn't have any concept of how valuable his paintings are.
I was not only flattered, but I also felt that he had unreserved trust in my charity work. A feeling of honor and not wanting to let people down that I rarely feel came over me. Dinner was simple but delicious, and also cannot be compared to luxurious food. The simple and peaceful atmosphere seemed to be Teacher Huang's attitude towards life. Teacher Huang calls me old Jackie Chan. In my heart, Teacher Huang is also a lively old playful boy.
TRANSLATION WITH MUCH THANKS TO: TWITTER.COM/DACREJAMES
More about Huang Yongyu
Huang Yongyu-an Extraordinary Artist
Internationally acclaimed Chinese art master Huang Yongyu is known for his woodblock prints, ink paintings and literary works. A multi-talented man, Huang has published poems, essays, novels, screenplays and photo albums. A prolific carver of wooden engravings, he has held exhibitions in China, Hong Kong, Australia, Germany and Italy.
Huang's Artistic Achievements
Born in 1924 in Fenghuang County, Hunan Province, Huang never went to a regular art school but he had talent and worked hard. He studied art and literature by himself and learnt from friends, society and life. Perhaps this is why he shows such initiative and vitality in his works without any set pattern.
When he was young, Huang was famous for his prints, which used bold lines and an unconstrained style. Until the 1960s he devoted himself mainly to woodcuts. The period from the late 1950s to the middle 1960s marked the golden age of his woodcuts. His color woodcut prints, such as Ahshima and Spring Tide, were pleasant surprises to fellow artists with their strong folk flavor, pronounced ethnic characteristics and refreshing style.
Since the seventies, Huang has produced an abundance of colored ink paintings depicting landscapes, flowers and birds using freehand techniques. There are also human figures and scenes with humorous messages or historical allusions. His fresh themes, bold strokes and dripping colors combine to make an original style in contemporary Chinese painting; while his unique style of using traditional Chinese painting techniques helped contribute to his fame. His caricatures and canvas paintings are also recognized as excellent.
Plum blossoms and water lilies are two major subjects of Huang's work and he has made up to 8,000 images depicting water lilies. Besides paintbrushes, Huang also uses branches, his fingers and dry pulp as painting tools. He paints with amazing speed and confidence.
His folk works are particularly popular in other countries. The People's Art Press published his Collection of Woodcarvings of Huang Yongyu in 1956, and he has been covered in US magazine Time, and had works published by the Hong Kong Artist's Press and the Hunan Art Press.
Huang's hometown Fenghuang is one of his favorite themes. For Huang, Fenghuang is not only a place of happy childhood memories, but also somewhere that provides him with artistic inspiration.
Huang never forgot the narrow alleys paved with stone slabs in his hometown, where he watched craftsmen make kites and carve statues of Buddha, enjoyed folk operas, dragon -boat races and lion dances. He never forgot any of these beautiful scenes.
A pond of lotuses lay in front of Huang's old home and as a result, lotuses have figured heavily in his artistic endeavors.
The owl incident
In the 1950s Huang became the youngest teacher at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. By the time of the Cultural Revolution, Huang was one of the leading print and ink artists in the country.
He created little in the way of art during those tumultuous ten years, but his ink and wash painting Maotouying or Owl which portrays an owl with one eye closed, was criticized as an attack on socialism, as it can be seen to portray public officials turning a blind eye to wrong doings.
People were surprised and worried about the painting but Huang didn't feel uneasy at all even joking that the half-opened eye of an owl was a natural phenomenon.
Huang has made a point of never inviting any particular people or celebrities to his exhibitions, believing everyone should have equal access to art. However he made an exception at an exhibition in Beijing in 1999. During a dark period in his life, a gardener sent Huang flowers and gave him encouragement to get him through, but they somehow lost track of each other and Huang spent years looking for him. When the two friends were reunited, Huang broke his rule and invited the gardener to one of his exhibitions as a distinguished guest.
The price of Huang's paintings
Some say Huang priced his paintings according to his mood, giving a low price while in good mood and hiking the price when in a foul one. Others say he asked for 60, 000 RMB (about US$7,489) for each square foot of art.
Huang put up a notice on the wall of his house, stating that all deals made should be paid for in cash, which would later be donated to the restoration of scenic spots and pavilions in his hometown.
Huang's work is still popular. His book An Old Man Who Is Older than Me still enjoys brisk sales and was on the top ten bestseller list in 2003. An exhibition of his art was held in celebration of his 80th birthday in 2004. Beginning in Beijing and finishing in Hong Kong, it featured both old and new works.
Chinese article about Master Huang with photos of his home and dogs: XINHUA.NET
Some examples of Master Huang's work: