Arab Today, arab today selfmade caricaturist draws life of migrants
Last Updated : GMT 18:01:57
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

Self-made caricaturist draws life of migrants

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Self-made caricaturist draws life of migrants

Beijing - XINHUA

As a child, Wang Gaojie spent long hours imitating the black-and-white illustrations in his schoolbooks. He drew landscapes, animals and portraits of great people like Napoleon and Mao Zedong. Despite his love of fine arts, Wang never went beyond high school. At 18, he left his countryside home in central China\'s Henan Province and followed a fellow villager to Ningbo, an industrial city in the rich coastal province of Zhejiang that was rapidly being urbanized. Now at 26, Wang still enjoys drawing. The only difference is he draws mainly migrants like himself. A collection of his works, published on the web, described his first impressions of the city and the simple, often tedious life of migrants. Wang himself was the hero in the collection, a plump young man with tangled hair. It opened with his own arrival in Ningbo. \"It was in 2005, shortly after the Chinese New Year,\" Wang wrote. The man in the picture was carrying a bag and a bundle of clothing. \"It was unusually cold and was still snowing in March, which was quite rare.\" \"Almost eight years have passed. Ningbo has changed a lot and so have I,\" reads the text of another caricature that showed a naive-looking Wang in 2005 and a heavy-built, bearded man smoking a cigarette. \"That\'s me in 2012.\" Another caricature showed a younger Wang grimacing at work. \"I\'ve taken different factory jobs such as assembly worker, product examiner and warehouse keeper,\" the text reads. It was an account of Wang\'s own experience at the factory. \"Everyone follows his own schedule and has his own objectives in life,\" he said. A fellow worker in his caricature, for example, waved his hands and called out for God Almighty to help him find a better half. \"Deep in my heart I dream of being a cartoonist,\" he wrote next to a picture with him drawing excitedly under the watchful, yet disdainful, eyes of an elder man. \"As I grow older, I found the harder I tried, the farther my dream seemed. But I will never regret, as long as I have tried,\" he wrote in a caricature he drew last week. Wang said he drew only for fun, and never expected the drawings to become a hit on the web. But web users found his works inspiring and having offered a unique angle in observing the life and struggle of China\'s colossal migrant population. \"I found your drawings interesting and encouraging,\" said a netizen with the screen name \"sztdmr\", who claimed to be a migrant in Ningbo, too. \"They remind me of my own tears and laughters here in the city.\" \"I admire you for your talent. Keep to it, and your dream will come true,\" said netizen \"taozhiyaoyao sunyu\". Wang found the web users\' enthusiasm surprising and scary. \"Migrants\' life is humdrum and boring. I\'d rather stay away from the public attention and keep drawing in peace and quiet.\" Over the years in the city, he has spent all his spare time drawing cartoons, first as a way to eke out meager earnings and later relying on it as source of fun after a day of hard work. \"My major concern is not how to survive in the city or how to earn more money, but how I can spend my life doing something meaningful,\" Wang said. He was hoping his works could help the city people understand the dreams and pursuits of this \"large and taciturn group\" and eliminate their prejudice. Official statistics show China has more than 250 million farmers-turned workers working in cities. These people, having taken up the city\'s most tiring, dirtiest and lowest-paid jobs, are often marginalized and discriminated by city people. \"Despite our humble work, every one of us has a goal and we hold firmly to it. I wish I could one day open my personal art show and get more people to understand us,\" Wang said.

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Arab Today, arab today selfmade caricaturist draws life of migrants Arab Today, arab today selfmade caricaturist draws life of migrants

 



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