Born in Shanghai and currently based in Australia, Badiucao is one of China’s most prolific and well-known political cartoonists. A new e-book published by China Digital Times collects over 50 of his drawings over the past two years. The artist confronts a variety of social and political issues head-on in his powerful work, while infusing his drawings with a wry sense of humor.
He readily adapts sardonic Internet memes — such as the nickname for President Xi Jinping, “Steamed Bun Xi” — while manipulating archetypal images from Communist Party propaganda to make subversive political statements. In recent years, he has broadened his range and drawn a series of stark and powerful portraits of human rights defenders in China.
“As a rebel, I want to use my pen to record history from my perspective and use my individual perspective to confront the official record,” Badiucao told China Digital Times.
The drawings in the book cover the early years of Xi’s presidency, from December 2013 to January 2016. The book also includes a lengthy interview with the artist and explanatory text for each image. Badiucao’s work has been used by Amnesty International, Freedom House, BBC and CNN and exhibited in Australia, the U.S. and Italy. He has been a contributing cartoonist for China Digital Times since December 2013.
The e-book is available on the CDT website, in both ePub and PDF formats, and you can pay what you want. All donations received will be contributed to Badiucao.
Below are a few handpicked cartoons from the new book: