With delicate composition, striking details and strong emotion, five editorial posters drawn by Wuheqilin have attracted some half million followers to his account on Sina Weibo, China's Twitter-like social media platform. His political views expressed in his art have led to some netizens dubbing him the "Wolf Worrier artist."
A 2010 graduate from Changchun University in Northeast China's Jilin Province, Wuheqilin is a computer graphic artist who runs his own intellectual property business and works as an art director for two film and television companies in Beijing.
His paintings were released on his personal Sina Weibo account, and received waves of positive comments as well as some dispute on Twitter and other international social media platforms. His recent painting To Breath reflects the ongoing protests against racism in many countries caused by the murder of George Floyd.
The painting was reposted to Twitter, after which one web user commented "Holding up the painting above my head, I feel I am the next one."
An editorial poster titled To Breath created by Wuheqilin Photo: Courtesy of Wuheqilin
Wuheqilin started drawing editorial posters during the anti-extradition issue in Hong Kong in 2019, hoping to disclose the truth about how some Western forces deluded young people in Hong Kong.
His first painting A Pretender God depicts a group of Hong Kong rioters worshipping a Statue of Liberty under the stare of bloodthirsty monsters. Instead of Lady Liberty's torch and tabula ansata, she holds a gasoline bomb and a keyboard.
A Pretender God Photo: Courtesy of Wuheqilin
"With my first painting, I want to tell young people in Hong Kong to open their eyes to see the truth and not be deluded by some fake belief," he said.
"Hong Kong was in a special period in its history with its long-existing problems being magnified, and some Western forces saw it as a good chance to bash China as they spared no efforts to employ their forces and promote the chaos," he told the Global Times.
"Usually they would do it underground, but these Western forces even didn't bother to hide their intentions, and the fierce hostility from the outside world made me furious," he said, adding that the fury mounted in his mind until the protesters started to use violence against the police and innocent citizens.
"I saw a lot of art pieces advocating and praising violence during the event in Hong Kong, and I came up with the idea that I will do what I can to fight back," he said.
After A Pretender God, he published a second drawing Cannon Fodder, which is one of his favorites.
"I want to tell them to stop being so foolish to make yourselves a tool utilized by the Western forces to suppress China," he said.
Cannon Fodder adopts a time lapse and depicts a boy standing in the middle of railway with a train moving toward him. "Whoever sees the painting knows that the little boy will be smashed in the next second, while those standing beside the railway will laugh and open their umbrellas without even a drop of blood splashing on their clothes," he explained.
Cannon Fodder Photo: Courtesy of Wuheqilin
"My fury turned to sadness when I painted Cannon Fodder, and I even shed tears in the middle of the painting," he said.
"No one would like to see such a sad ending. The difference with what is happening in the painting is the fact they can pull the brake before it is too late."
Wuheqilin said he was not initially gifted in art. "I started to learn drawing in my junior high school period, and I achieved what I have now thanks to my insistence for so many years," he said.
"It was on one day in 2015 when I first realized who I want to be is not a good painter, but a story-teller using images. And what I love is not drawing, but images," he said, adding that it was at that time he abandoned his training and style to focus on conveying emotions.
Compared with words, information in an image is highly concentrated and can be conveyed to audiences simultaneously. But sometimes words are needed to explain the subtle meaning behind the image, he said.
"I hope my art works could spread to as many people as possible," he said. Therefore, he chose to release the copyright of all of his editorial posters to the public.
In regard to the title of "Wolf Worrier artist," he laughed and said "I kind of like this title because I like the movie Wolf Worrier, and feel honored to have the title."
Wuheqilin said conveying political ideology is one of his responsibilities as an artist. "This is what I am doing, and I hope I can encourage more artists to do something good for our country and people with what we've learned," he said.
White House Plasterer Photo: Courtesy of Wuheqilin
"I think there will be more 'Wolf Worrier artists' in the near future as more people have realized from the COVID-19 epidemic that patriotism is not something shameful. This country is worth loving and needs every one of us to safeguard it," he said.
"What's unwise about the Western world is that their attack would only make Chinese people more united," he added.
He is currently planning a series of editorial posters to be released soon.
Newspaper headline: The power of posters