Illustrations have more power than words, says satirical artist Wuheqilin
Prominent Chinese satirical artist Wuheqilin, whose work is known for mocking Western governments and media, told the World Internet Conference that satirical illustrations have extraordinary power, surpassing words, in international communication.
Wuheqilin, a computer graphic artist whose real name is Fu Yu, talked about how visual arts could bridge the language gap, overcome the barrier of cross-cultural communication and allow China to fight back against slanders and attacks at the conference in Wuzhen, Zhejiang Province, on September 26.
Wuheqilin shot to fame in November 2020 when he published an illustration of an Australian soldier slitting the throat of a child, attacking Canberra over the findings of the Brereton report which alleged Australian special force soldiers played a role in the unlawful killings of 39 Afghan civilians and prisoners.
The illustration was forwarded by Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of China's Foreign Ministry, and prompted Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's calls for an apology.
"I am determined to create some viral works on international communication platforms to speak up for China," Wuheliqin said in the speech in Wuzhen.
In his work White House Plasterer, the former US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is depicted painting a coronavirus in red with yellow stars while former President Trump stands by the door taking interviews.
The drawing showed how Western politicians spared no efforts in vilifying China, fabricating lies and deceiving themselves, Wuheqilin explained.
He thinks his work has also played a positive role in establishing a Chinese narrative. Besides being combative and mocking, we need to provide a Chinese perspective and relate to overseas audiences, Wuheqilin said.
In his graphic work Put on the Armor, Chinese people from all walks of life help a medical professional don protective gear.
Wuheqilin has over 3.33 million followers on China's Twitter-like Weibo.