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.
The famous statue of the Discobolus is an iconic image of the Olympic Games. Initially made by Greek sculptor Myron of Eleuthera in 450 BC, the sculpture was popularised by the Roman copy sculpted in the 2nd century and several others that came after. While the well-known sculpture features early classical features, Huang’s Discobolus offers a different interpretation of the famous discus thrower. Compared to the original, Huang’s figure appears more rigid and sturdy. Huang’s figure holds the discus in his right hand with his other arm resting on his head. The drawing focuses on the subject’s strength with defined muscles shaped by the clever use of light and shadow.