Analysis of Feng Zikai's Chinese cartoons and their computer reproduction


Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

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  • Jing ZHANG

Related Research Unit(s)


Awarding Institution
  • Steve FORE (Supervisor)
  • Kam Wah WONG (Supervisor)
  • Kin Chung AU (Co-supervisor)
Award date15 Jul 2011


Feng Zikai, is an outstanding modern Chinese cartoonist, as well as an accomplished essayist, scholar, educator, translator, calligrapher, and musician. He is chiefly known for developing a unique style of Chinese cartoons incorporating a combination of traditional Chinese fine arts features and references to Western painting styles. The trajectory of Feng's career reflects a characteristic of modern Chinese intellectuals, that of, placing value on developing deep knowledge in multiple disciplines simultaneously. Mostly due to the difficulties with gaining access to primary resources, publications to date, especially journal articles, draw on a narrow range of works and somewhat haphazardly extend the discussion of Feng's creations and ideas. Based on a more extensive access to Feng's Chinese cartoons and essays, as well as Sino-Western publications about his life and work, this research provides a graphics-oriented analysis of Feng's art works, focusing on the foundations, grammatical theories, and themes of his Chinese cartoons. Moreover, programs and techniques for simulating the styles of Chinese brush work in contemporary computer graphics and animation are quite successful in a generic sense, but they are not very successful in reproducing a specific artist's painting style in an interactive digital painting process. This research therefore also aims at developing a preliminary computer framework capable of reproducing the specific artistic styles of selected Chinese paintings, focusing on a case study of a subset of the works of Feng Zikai, with specific reference to his signature painting of human facial features. Aside from the potential technical benefits of such a study, a comprehensive understanding of Feng's graphic style will also be relevant to discussions of the relationship between tradition and novelty in the world of Asian art and aesthetics.

    Research areas

  • Caricatures and cartoons, Feng, Zikai, 1898-1975, Criticism and interpretation, China