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Sunday, August 27, 2006
China's Political Cartoonists
I have loved good visual humor and satire since the first time I solved a New Yorker Cartoon. And having lived around the globe I have a long list of favorites: Angel Boligan of Mexico, Canadian Cam Cardow and Tab (also from Canada), and Australia's amazing Vince O'Farrell, among others.
The ability to interpret a political/editorial cartoon is now a part of many American secondary school curriculums. Where news reporting is often flat, redundant, and devoid of sentiment, Poetry, Art and Editorial Cartooning ping the core of societal values and world views of the people the news affects. Whether or not what you like what you see in a cartoon is not relevant. What is important is that you take notice of how the rest of the world views a given situation. Once, while rooming with another enlisted-man in the military, I came home to find him reading an Officer's manual. When I asked him why he replied: "It is a sound philosophy: Know thy enemy!"
I stumbled today on the Iranian Holocaust collection at Slapstick Politics (Do NOT go there if you anger easily) and that led me to The Googlm Cartoon Museum's site where I discovered a host of Chinese illustrators. The Chinese animation industry may have a bunch of dullards at the drafting table, but Chinese cartoonists are picking off top awards in International competitions.
In 2005 the Chinese hosted an global Cartoon Contest that brought in over 1600 entrants from 75 countries. Dozens of Chinese artists placed well against the best on the planet. And this year, at the first World Cartoon Festival in Kosova, Angel Boligan snatched the first prize, but the Chinese showed well. Visit their site. I think you are in for a pleasant surprise.
At Googlm there is a surprising amount of depth and breadth. You'll find everything from mediocre to masterful and from the obvious to the abstract. One of the old hands in Chinese cartooning on display there is Li Run Tang. 58 year old Li has taken honors in dozens of world competitions and his work is a staple in China. This was the first I had seen of his work, but I am now a fan. Here is a sampling:
China BlogsChina Blog Blogging Humor Expats Lonnie Hodge China DVDs Cartoonists DVDs Cartoons
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posted by Lonnie at 8:33 AM
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