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【1333期】Portraitist Huang Works Away to Get Job Done

Portraitist Huang Works Away to Get Job Done

 

 

【Lin Hsieh Yu Tung/report】Worried that the art of traditional portraits may fail to pass down generations, Huang Ming-hui (黃明輝) insists on continuing to work until “I can’t do it anymore.”

 

 

Huang started his painting career at the age of 19, with his very first portrait being that of Guan Yu, a general serving under the warlord Liu Bei during the late Eastern Han dynasty.  Guan is remembered for his loyalty to Liu.

 

 

For the last 60 years, Huang has been painting portraits to earn his living and has never thought about leaving his painting job.  A traditional portrait takes a week or so to be done. Its sale value is dependent on the type of the painting paper used plus daily wages calculated.

 

 

He told the Culture Journal that traditional portraits have a higher value than digital photos in that they show more details of people’s facial expressions.  Nevertheless, he admitted that modern technology has made life easier since we can take photos whenever we want.

 

 

These days, young people have no desire to learn this traditional art, Huang said, sighing that “even my own son and daughter who majored in arts at college don’t want to learn it.”

 

 

He promised to continue doing this job, with a hope that somewhere along the way there may be someone what wants to be apprenticed to him.  “Let nature take its course,” he said.

 

 


Huang’s studio is located near the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

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