Chen Fan

Shanghai, China


Fan Cheng is a well–known cartoonist, a specialist in the theory of humor. He was born in Guangdong Province. In 1942, Fan Cheng graduated from Wuhan University. In 1946, he began drawing cartoons in Shanghai. Since 1949, Fan Cheng worked as the editor-in-chief of the People’s Daily newspaper. In addition, he was a professor at the Faculty of Journalism of Wuhan and Zhengzhou Universities. Now Fan Cheng is the chairman of the Chinese Center for the Study of Computer Science and Caricature. Famous works of the author: “Collection of cartoons of Fan Cheng”, “Humor, irony and caricature”, “Series of cartoons of Fan Cheng”, “The Art of laughter”, “Newspaper caricature”, “Fan Cheng about the art of caricature”, etc.


Although he loved fine art since childhood, but he never thought that he would later become a cartoonist. As a young man, he loved to draw comics, imitating the techniques of English and American artists. Engaged in drawing humorous paintings, he found his place in the world of caricature art in China and did what he loved all his life.

In 1980, Fan Cheng created a very famous cartoon titled “The short Wu Dalang opens a restaurant.” In this caricature, all the restaurant workers at the Undersized Dalan were of low stature. They are proud to say: “Our boss has an old habit: he never takes on those who are above him.” And to this day, many people like to use the word “U Dalan” when they want to make fun of an envious person.

The cartoon “The short Wu Dalang opens a restaurant” was published in 1980 on “Gongrenzhibao” and the newspaper “Zhenminzhibao”. It became one of the two best visual works selected by the readers of the newspaper “Zhenminzhibao” in 1980. Moreover, it was the first time in history that a cartoon received such a high award. After the publication of the cartoon “The Short Wu Dalang opens a restaurant” and the successful exhibition of Fan Cheng’s caricature works, his name became popular in China. Fang Cheng, along with other famous cartoonists Hua Jun and Ding Tsong, became “The Three Masters of the Caricature Art of China.”

In addition to caricature works, Fan Cheng came up with a new genre. In it, the characters are created in accordance with the traditional techniques of Chinese national painting. Next to them, some poems of a light genre are often written on a sheet of paper. Such paintings, created by Fan Cheng in his old age, can be attributed to caricature works and decorative drawing.

At the initiative of the famous Chinese cartoonist Fan Cheng, the country’s first caricature museum was built in Shanghai. It will feature famous works by Mr. Fan Cheng.

In 1986, Fan Cheng retired. From that moment, a new stage in his life began. Now he gets up early in the morning every day, exercises, then draws or writes. Every day he works at home for almost eight hours. Fan Cheng is currently working on a new book about caricature.

Reference: BEC (the Big Encyclopedia of Caricature), 2010



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