Feng Zikai Comes Home


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The lively award cer­e­mony of the 2nd ‘Feng Zikai Award’ Es­say-writ­ing Com­pe­ti­tion, held in Tongx­i­ang, was cel­e­brated on Novem­ber 8 in com­mem­o­ra­tion of the 119th an­niver­sary of the birth of Feng Zikai (1898-1975), an in­flu­en­tial Chi­nese pain­ter, pi­o­neer­ing man­hua artist and es­say au­thor. The jury mem­bers in­cluded Feng Yiyin, the daugh­ter of the artist, and a host of fa­mous writ­ers and crit­ics in­clud­ing Li Jingze and Jia Pingwa. This year’s com­pe­ti­tion was co-or­ga­nized by the Tongx­i­ang Peo­ple’s Gov­ern­ment and Mei Wen (Beau­ti­ful Es­says) mag­a­zine. The or­ga­niz­ing com­mit­tee re­ceived more than 5,000 sub­mis­sions from home and abroad, some of which were from fa­mous writ­ers and schol­ars in the US, the UK and many other coun­tries. Tongx­i­ang is the home­town of Feng Zikai. Lo­cated in Shi­men­wan, Yuan Yuan Tang is not only the artist’s an­ces­tral res­i­dence but also his spir­i­tual home­land. In his early years, Feng Zikai was taught by the mas­ter monk Hong Yi. In 1921, he trav­elled to Ja­pan to fur­ther his stud­ies. Feng Zikai wrote ex­ten­sively on var­i­ous top­ics, in­clud­ing lit­er­a­ture, paint­ing, mu­sic, trans­la­tion and cal­lig­ra­phy. Among his nu­mer­ous cre­ations, his most fa­mous works in­clude short es­say col­lec­tions, such as ‘Yuan-Yuan Tang Sui Bi’ and ‘YuanYuan Tang Zai Bi’. Many of his mas­ter­pieces, in­clud­ing ‘100 pic­tures for the sixth episode of Hu Sheng Hua Ji’, were cre­ated in his later lan­guish­ing years. Feng Zikai is a cul­tural hall­mark of Tongx­i­ang. The man’s charis­matic artistry plays a sig­nif­i­cant role in the cul­tural land­scape of Tongx­i­ang. “Feng Zikai lived a life that was as beau­ti­ful as his es­says,” said fa­mous writer Yu Qi­uyu, who was among the 20 win­ners of this year’s com­pe­ti­tion.

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