Painter (1967 – 1987)
Huang Yao’s main contributions to Chinese painting are:
Wenzi Hua (1960s – 1980s), defined by Huang Yao as the paintings resulting from “making use of the most beautiful structure of ancient Chinese characters, incorporating primitive art design and symbols, to write poems, phrases and paint in an “innovative style”. Huang Yao’s Wenzi Hua predates modern calligraphy from China.
Ziyou Hua (1970s), the use of Chinese painting instruments and technique to spontaneously paint images that look like abstract western art, the subject matter is mostly on the lifestyles of the primitive people, especially their lively animals. To Huang Yao, art is about beauty and beauty from the heart has no borders or even cultural boundaries. “When one’s brush moves smoothly without obstruction, it is in line with ‘dao’ or the Way”.
Foreign Environment (1945 – 1980s), he continued with his tradition of recording his travels as he did with Niubizi. He used different Chinese painting techniques to paint people and scenes in Vietnam, Thailand and Malaysia. These paintings were to counter the misperception that Chinese painters cannot use Chinese painting techniques to paint what they see.
Chuyun Shu (1934-1986), a unique calligraphy style in which the Chinese characters are written upside down, from the bottom of the page up to the top. "Chuyun Shu" or "emerging from the clouds script" is from a phrase of Tao Yuan Ming's poem. Huang Yao's calligraphy, executed spontaneously is like clouds rising naturally upwards from the writer. He first developed this upside down style to accompany his cartoon strip as the writing captured his innocent spirit.
Folk Culture Paintings (1980s), giving due importance to Minsu Nianhua (Chinese New Year prints), Huang Yao returned to the mythology that is important to the Chinese as he understood that it is through mythology that all humans are linked back to their collective consciousness. Huang Yao liked to paint folk cultural paintings because these paintings express optimism and hope for a better future, looking forward and not to the past.
Landscapes (1950s to 1986), Huang Yao’s landscape paintings range from the traditional blue-green, Mi- style, splash ink to black and white zig-zag lines. He is noted for his scenes of fishermen returning in the rain and the Red Cliff in Su Shi’s poem.
Children (1950s to 1980s), because of his background in painting cartoons, he was able to capture the essence of the innocence and playfulness of children. Over the years he experimented with several techniques in simple paintings of a few children or the scrolls of 100 children at play.
Apart from the above, he also painted men in poetic settings, birds and animals as well as philosophical and Buddhist themes.