Shenzhen Art Museum is exhibiting Hua Junwu’s caricatures at Longgang Culture Center.
Hua (1915-2010) is a pioneer of caricature illustrations, a style commonly used in comics and political cartoons, in China. He is most known for works exposing social issues with both style and insight.
Born in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province, Hua made drawings for fun as a junior school student. In 1930, the school magazine posted his drawing “Students Getting Injections,” vividly depicting the exaggerated expressions of pain on the faces of students receiving shots.
In 1936, he began to work as a bank clerk in Shanghai. As the center of the Chinese caricature community at that time, Shanghai was a hub for a large number of brilliant caricaturists from home and abroad.
Hua began to submit his caricatures to magazines and gradually made the acquaintance of many famous caricaturists, whose works greatly influenced him.
During his stay in Yan’an during the wartime, he adjusted his subject matter, infusing his caricatures with more irony, exaggeration, and absurdity.
Hua moved to Beijing in 1949 when the People’s Republic of China was founded and launched the “Satire and Humor” column in the People’s Daily, providing a platform for caricaturists.
The caricature “Never Walk, Never Tumble,” satirizing people afraid of making mistakes, was highly acclaimed by the public.
Hua’s caricatures are distinctive for featuring people with the unkempt dress and messy hair, unadorned yet imposing. Using just a few strokes, Hua conveys rich meaning. He embodies his creative ideas in carefully chosen images with penetrating insight and acute observations.
Hua attributed his choice of drawing caricatures as a career largely to his personality. “I liked painting when I was very young. But I couldn’t draw still life well.
I decided on caricatures because I like drawing in a more casual way and mirroring social realities,” he explained in his autobiography “My Career As a Caricaturist.”
Metro: Line 3 to Longcheng Square Station (龙城广场站), Exit D