Pioneering artist Huang Yongyu passes away at 99

2023-06-15 08:58:22Global Times Editor : Li Yan ECNS App Download

Huang Yongyu, a Chinese artist best known for his woodblock prints and zodiac stamp designs, passed away on Wednesday at 99 years old. 

The news was announced by the Huang family's legal advisor Chen Han. In his will, Huang noted that he did not want "anyone to host any memorials" for him and mentioned that he wanted his ashes to be used as "fertilizer" to return to nature. 

"I hope you all respect my wish," Huang said. 

Born in 1924, Huang was an inspiring figure in Chinese art history. He was a leading figure in Chinese woodcut printing in the mid 1940s, but he is more deeply remembered by the public as a designer specializing in Chinese zodiac stamp designs. 

In 1980, Huang designed a stamp featuring the monkey zodiac sign. The piece marks the first zodiac stamp that was created after the establishment of the new China. In 2016, Huang designed another monkey stamp, which is highly prized by collectors.

"We used to say that a Huang monkey stamp equals the value of a property," Li Xiangming, a stamp collector, told the Global Times, adding that he loves the artist's unique aesthetics. 

In 2023, Huang's last rabbit stamp showing a red-eyed blue rabbit character received a mixed response. 

"To draw a rabbit stamp is a happy thing. Everyone can draw it and I'm not the only one who can draw it. Drawing it is to make everyone happy and wish everyone a good Chinese New Year," the late master said in response to some netizens who said it was "bizarre-looking." 

News of Huang's death has been widely shared on China's Twitter-like Sina Weibo and has so far been viewed by 200 million netizens.

"The lovely grandpa is going to continue his lovely childlike art somewhere else, I believe," one netizen posted on Sina Weibo. 


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