Date
18 November 2018
'Ah Chung' , who died on Sunday at the age of 85, has said resonance among readers was the greatest motivation for his cartoons and other creative works. Photo: HKEJ
'Ah Chung' , who died on Sunday at the age of 85, has said resonance among readers was the greatest motivation for his cartoons and other creative works. Photo: HKEJ

Political cartoonist ‘Ah Chung’ Yim Yee-king dies at 85

Yim Yee-king, a Hong Kong cartoonist famous for his works that centered on political satire, has died at the age of 85.

According to a post on the Facebook page of Ah Chung Studio, opened as a memorial to Yim, the cartoonist, who was better known as “Ah Chung”, passed away in the United States on Sunday. 

The cause of death was given as acute heart failure.

Yim died at his home in Los Angeles, surrounded by his wife, daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren.

A funeral will be held with simple Buddhist rituals as per his will, and his post-cremation remains will be put at the Fo Guang Shan Hsi Lai Temple in Los Angeles.

The post cited Yim as saying that resonance among readers was the greatest motivation for his works, and that being able to provide people some breathing space in a world full of contradictions was the greatest reward for him.

Attached with the post was a drawing by Yim, in which he penned a message that suggests a person would be really free only when he is able to return to nature.

Born in Guangzhou in 1933, Yim moved to Hong Kong when he was young. He started his career as a cartoonist after securing a job as an illustrator at a Chinese newspaper, RTHK reports.

He was in his mid-20s when he began his illustrious career. Many famous politicians had been satirized in his drawings, including Mao Zedong.

After emigrating to the US in the 1980s, Yim began to formally use the pseudonym “Ah Chung” — which means “worm” in Chinese — with his drawings mainly depicting the little matters in life, using ink and watercolor.

RTHK noted that Yim had held a number of solo exhibitions in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the US.

In Hong Kong, he even had opened a gallery, in Central, only to close it in 2008 after Hong Kong economy was hit by the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the global financial tsunami in 2008.

Yim once mocked himself by saying the reason why he used “Ah Chung” as his pseudonym was he did not have the talents to become a successful person, therefore he could only live like a worm.

The comic books published by Yim are now very difficult to find in Hong Kong, to the disappointment of many fans.

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TL/JC/RC

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