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The Award and Feng Zikai

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Mr. Feng Zikai was a renowned artist who cared about children in his entire life. With the support and permission of his daughter Ms. Feng Yiyin, the award is honoured to be named after Mr. Feng Zikai.

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Imperishable Affection: The Art of Feng Zikai

Feng Zikai (1898-1975)

Feng Zikai (1898-1975) originated from Tongxiang Prefecture of the Zhejiang Province. He was a modern painter, litterateur, and music educator. In his earlier years, Feng learned painting and music from Master Hong Yi (Li Shutong), and in 1921 he traveled in Japan to further his studies. After returning to China, he taught art and music in Shanghai, Zhejiang and Chongqing, and also became the editor of Kaiming Publishing House. Feng has extensive and eminent publications in literature, painting, music, translation, calligraphy, and art theory. Amongst everything, his cartoon works are the pioneer of Chinese cartoon art. Feng's cartoons are simple in figure and in style, and his childlike innocence stands out from other artists. Picture books are a particular genre in children's literature. In children's modern picture books, children's viewpoint and the synergy of words and images are the crucial yet basic conditions. Although Feng Zikai did not make any modern picture books, his understanding and respect towards children and his ideology on literature and painting make him the representative of the spirit for modern Chinese picture books.

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Make Our Children Read Our Own Books

Ms. Feng Yiyin

The first time I met members from the Chen Yet-Sen Family Foundation, I was delighted with their engagement in children's picture books.

My father loved children. He had once said, “I truly love them. Their laughing makes me more cheerful than my own laughing. Their crying makes me feel more sorrowful than my own crying. Their eating makes food more delicious than my own eating. Their tumbling makes me more painful than my own tumbling…”

My father objected to putting children in adult's clothing and turning them into “small adults.” Likewise, making children read adults' picture books was also regarded inappropriate. Picture books for children are far from enough at present. Therefore, the promotion of children's picture books needs immediate attention.

My father also said that, “I am a butterfly that folds the wings in order to walk with caterpillars. In such a way I can understand children’s feelings and life, and illustrates in earnest and excitement.” I hope to see more wing-folded butterflies standing out in the Award selection!

18 April, 2008

Biographical Table on Mr. Feng Zikai

"I am always sympathetic to the sorrow to children, I hope to voice out for them and seek the attention from adults." — Feng Zikai

" I am particularly interested in literature. Hence, my illustrations are affected by literature. I don't like to and I don't do landscape paintings nor floral paintings, I hope to embrace significance, be it real-life feelings or social issues, in my paintings. To me, an illustration is a work that you can see and think. As such, I try to use shapes to replace text in my literary work." — Feng Zikai

Early Years (Born to Age 40)

1898
1906
1907
1914
1915-1917
1918
1919
1921
1922
1924
1925
1926
1927
1928
1929
1930
1931
1933

Later Years (Age 41 - 78)

1938
1939
1940
1941
1942
1945
1946
1948
1949
1951
1954
1958
1962
1963
1966-1972
1973
1974
1975