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‘Mischievous’ Chinese Painter Dies at 99

The Man in the Century July 1, 2023

By NewsChina Updated Sept.1

Renowned as “the mischievous genius” among scholars of the China National Academy of Painting, artist Huang Yongyu passed away on June 13 at 99. Huang was acclaimed for his skill in wood carving and sculpture, in which he was self-taught, as well as his writing. Born in western Hunan Province, Huang was a dropout and wanderer as a teenager. But life’s hardships did not drain his passion and compassion, and he was helped along the way by a number of Chinese literati including his uncle Shen Congwen. During the tumultuous Cultural Revolution (1966-1976), he took 240 lashes in silence. He left the Chinese mainland and worked for Hong Kong newspaper Ta Kung Pao, where wuxia (martial arts) novelist Louis Cha (Jin Yong) was his colleague. In later years, he settled in Beijing, focusing on painting and writing while ignoring all complaints about his obsession with buying luxury cars. According to his wishes, no funeral ceremony was held.