Born in 1879, pioneer artist Huang Suibi was trained in the Philippines with fellow artist Yang Gengtang. He returned to Xiamen and became one of the city’s most prominent artists and art educators. In 1923, Huang and Yang founded the Xiamen Art Academy with the founding principal of NAFA, Lim Hak Tai. The academy taught Western art, Chinese art, sculpture, life-drawing classes and graphic arts. Huang served as the founding principal of the institution until 1935. He moved to Singapore the following year and passed away just around the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 at age 58.
Carved in the 1st century BC, The Belvedere Torso in the Vatican Museums is one of the most important sculptures of the Renaissance era. In 15th-century Rome, the statue was discovered and marvelled at the realist details that the figure displayed. The sculpture resembles the male form and exudes strength and power. Huang’s charcoal drawing of The Belvedere Torso conveys this quality as he highlights the tension on the torso as the body twists and leans forward. With the smooth lines and surface of the figure, Huang emphasises the Classical Greek conception of the ideal body.