top of page



Huang Yongyu, a Chinese artist known for his playful ink paintings of animals and flowers, has died at the age of 98. His family announced he had passed on June 13 due to an unspecified illness, and that no farewell or mourning ceremonies were scheduled in accordance with his last wishes.

The self-taught artist also produced woodblock prints, ink-wash paintings, sculpture, poetry, autobiographical novels, and three zodiac stamp designs.

Born in Hunan province in 1924, Huang never attended art school or formally studied literature. He developed became the youngest professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, China’s leading art school, at the age of 28 and eventually became head of the printmaking department.

Prior to his position at the art school, Huang spent five years in Hong Kong, starting in 1948, due to political turmoil in mainland China. His first solo exhibition took place at the University of Hong Kong’s Fung Ping Shan Library.

Huang’s work was the subject of many exhibitions, including one at the Hong Kong Museum of Art in 2004 marking his 80th birthday. In 2017, the National Museum of Chinese featured more than 100 of his zodiac animal paintings, a project he started in 2006. Huang also won the Olympic art prize that year.

One of Huang’s stamp designs released earlier this year, portraying a bright blue rabbit with glowing red eyes, sparked harsh reviews online but still drew long lines during its first day on sale and quickly sold out on the China Post website.

Huang’s work has also performed well at auction in Hong Kong. In November 2017, Christie’s auctioned off an 11-feet-long ink on paper scroll, Autumn Scenery (1978), for $2.5 million (HKD 19.3 million), more than twice its high estimate of $1.15 million (HKD 9 million). That same year, one of the 1980 Year of the Monkey stamps designed by Huang was sold at auction for a record price of 2.01 million yuan (almost US$300,000), according to the South China Morning Post.

Before his death, Huang lived and worked in Beijing.


Commenting has been turned off.
bottom of page