In 2012, Hong Kong Museum of Art presents a series of cartoon works by Feng Zikai (1898-1975), who has been referred to as the 'Father of Chinese Cartoons.'
'Feng introduced the genre he called "manhua" (cartoons) into China, and "Zikai's Cartoons" became his iconic style. He thought that both the form and the content of cartoons must carry spontaneity and immediacy. Only when the humanistic touch is felt in a cartoon can it touch its audience, regardless of their cultural and education background.
'"Creating a World of Compassion," a major part of the exhibition, features more than 200 exemplary works by Feng provided by Feng's family and local collectors. The works on display cover a wide range of subjects and different stages of his life. Divided into different themes such as "A Childlike Heart," "Family Life" and "Painting Old Poems," this part provides an in-depth study of Feng's interesting expression techniques, warmth as a humanist, concern for humankind and more.
'Feng began creating works in 1929 under the title Paintings on the Preservation of Life
. These works were made into a volume every 10 years, and Feng completed six volumes with a total of 450 leaves over the decades. The collection Paintings on the Preservation of Life
, which has been used as one of the theme titles of the exhibition, was conceived under the theme of developing a caring concern for every living thing under the sun. The core idea is to cultivate pity, benevolence and inner peace, which would in turn become "a caring heart"; this, Feng holds, is what we should have in everything we do with regard to those around us.' (Excerpt from Hong Kong Government press release
, 24 May 2012)
The accompanying catalogue includes essays and artist chronology.