Blog post 2:New generation Chinese graphic designer- Hai Huang

Teng Wang

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Blog post 2
When we reading the graphic history book, we are inspired by the different designer in their own time period, they represent the history and different art styles. Also, when look at the works from different countries, we can learn a lot from different culture and different way of thinking. However, when I read the book, I found that the Chinese graphic art was very rare. China got 5000 years history and Chinese are proud of that, the culture behind China are becoming the art style of Chinese graphic design. So today I want to introduce a Chinese graphic design, Hai Huang.

Huang’s work
Huang’s work

Huang is a Chinese new generation designer. After he finished university study, he starts to work at an advertisement company. In 2007 he designed a famous movie’s poster, “Sun rise again as usual”. This work made him become famous and he start to design different movie poster. In China many movie’s posters look same, the designer just places every character in the poster by their importance order. But his work has changed everything.

Poster of “Golden Age”
Poster of “Golden Age”
The poster of “The Grandmaster”
The poster of “The Grandmaster”
Poster of “Master in the forbidden city”
Poster of “Master in the forbidden city”
Poster of “Master in the forbidden city”
Poster of “Master in the forbidden city”

Because I’m crazy about movie so I collected many movie posters, many of them looks normal but Huang’s work is different. In his work he presents the style of movie by special structure and typography. One of the things that makes his special is his understanding of Chinese art and culture. For example, in his work “Golden Age” poster, the grey shapes are part of Chinese letter, because this movie is talk about the Chinese writer in 20th, their books made them fate become sad and tragic. So, these letters or words (you can understand as the things that they write) can be seen as a cage or prison. The small size figure inside shows the weak of a single person. Also, the golden title creates a color contrast. Moreover, in the poster of “the grandmaster”, Huang kept the poster in black and white so it fits the Chinese Tai Chi and Chinese ink style (Guo, Peng &Tang 2015). This movie is talking about the traditional Chinese culture by Kungfu. So, Huang has successfully caught the main idea that the movie wants to present. The 2 main characters looks static (stop), but their action has created the sense of movement. Also, the way of silhouette makes the poster looks more literary and mystic. Actually these 2 figures are all super movie stars, but he didn’t put the close up of their faces, he believed the idea behind the work is more important that the actor. this makes his work special. Also, in the poster of “Master in the forbidden city”, He decreased the size of figure and increase the main idea of the movie- master of repairing historic stuffs. The figure become a part of the object; this means that these people spend their entire life on these things. In his work it is hard to find the close up of famous character, this is also because in Chinese art the works should be implicit.

In Chinese culture we have an idea that art should have some deep meaning under its surface, it is not very good if a work is very flat. This works as well in some poems and cultural works. Huang worked with this idea very well. He thinks that every movie has a world, and the poster is to open a window to see the world. If it is just graphic design and no content, it is not enough to attract people who want to see the movie itself. I think this is right in the modern society with highly commercial atmosphere and fast food culture. People can learn about other country’s culture and style by modern art as poster.

 

Work cited:
Guo, F., Peng, H. and Tang, J. (2015), A novel method of converting photograph into Chinese ink painting. IEEJ Trans Elec Electron Eng, 10: 320-329. doi:10.1002/tee.22088

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