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Resources > Collections > Artwork Laocoon (from Laocoon and His Sons)

Year of execution:  Undated
Year of acquisition:  2004
Medium:   Charcoal on paper
Dimension:  58.5 x 44  cm
Gift of the artist

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.

Excavated in Rome in 1506 and placed in the Vatican since, Laocoön and His Sons is one of the most famous ancient sculptures with its impressive life-sized depiction of the group. The sculpture illustrates Laocoön, a Trojan priest and the son of Acoetes, along with his two sons attacked by giant serpents. The work demonstrates the vigour and vitality of the human body, a distinct feature of sculptures from the Hellenistic Period. Huang’s depiction of Laocoön stays true to the period’s characteristics. With light and shadow, he creates tension and movement in the figure, bringing life to the artwork.


Huang Suibi 黄燧弼