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In my three-year journey across China, a land of vastly different temperaments, my eyes were opened to a wealth of folk art.  My heart was moved by the paper craft, the vibrant graphics of the New Year prints, the naïf paintings of the peasants, each region stylistically distinct.  These were works of men and women deeply rooted in their soil; works populated with farm animals, fruits of the field and stream; they were celebrations of birth, marriage, harvest, the seasons, Heaven and Earth, youth, old age, and death.  The art of the country folk swelled with candor and humor; in their very artlessness they captured life more directly than any attempt at careful imitation could ever do.  The admiration for Chinese folk art, and everything my eyes have ever loved, has been transferred through my brushwork and recorded in "Forget Sorrow."

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Belle Yang drawing her comic book in a Youtube video

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Naif is not naive :)

Hi Belle,

You showed me some of the folk art you had studied at one time.

Even "naif" art follows rules of composition that are taught in art classes and untaught in art history classes.

The mind, especially the right brain, I believe is wired to hold things together in paintings in the same way that the mind is wired for speech. I'd love to see a book of collected folk paintings from China one day. Chinese folk paintings hold their own with the best that Gauguin sought to find in Polynesia or the (hard to think) Barbizon school of Fontainebleau I believe with painters like Rousseau, who was largely self-taught.

Ruth :)

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The Peasant Painters in China

had their own school of art, which stressed folk style. It's not as if they picked up their own brushes and formed a movement. The Communist government had a lot to do with the propagation and propaganda of "folk is good." I am not complaining. I think it's one of the better things the PRC did during the late 70s and 80s.

Now that most in the PRC love money more than folk, well, the peasants are as poor as ever in some regions.

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You're Wonderful Belle

Hello Belle,

 Ivory and I just watched "My Name Is Belle" and were very moved. Your parent's comments were particularly moving in light of the new immigration law in Arizona that would make life in America that much more frieghtening and tenious for immigrants.  

I have been enjoying "Forget Sorrow" and find the art to be approachable and also full of layers and meaning. You have such a wonderful story and are such a poetic and creative artist.

 We are so blessed to have you as a part of our lives.


All the best,


Abraham Mertens, redroom.com

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Hia Belle, I can't wait to

Hia Belle,

I can't wait to have my copies in hand. :) This is a treasure. People have such short memories. I see that posters of Chairman Mao are going back up all over China. How can this be?

Reminds me of the truism: "If there's anything we learn from history, it's that we never learn anything from history."

The purpose of an artist is twofold: to comfort the afflicted, and afflict the comfortable.

You do both admirably. It's an honor to be your friend.


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I love your definition

to comfort the afflicted; to afflict the comfortable!! Just signed your copies and will post them tomorrow. So nice to know they will be read by men and women who live with moose.