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.
One of the most famous ancient Greek sculptures, Venus de Milo, stands slightly larger than life size at 203 centimetres at the Louvre Museum, Paris. Although many perceive that the sculpture depicts Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty, some consider this to be Amphitrite, the sea goddess. Regardless, this sculpture reflects the distinct characteristics of the masterpieces of the Hellenistic Period, which embraced naturalism. Huang’s illustration captures this essence with the soft lines, expressing the feminine curves, facial features and the intricate folds of the drapery, which suggest tactility and attention to life-like details.