Sunday, September 24, 2017

[Opinion] In Memory of Huang Yi (1952 - 2017)

Huang Yi (1952 - 2017)

In Memory of

Huang Yi

1952 to 2017

1. ("Huang Yi (author)", Wikipedia):

Wong Cho-keung (15 March 1952 – 5 April 2017), better known by his pen name Huang Yi or Huang An, was a Hong Kong writer of wuxia and science fiction novels. He graduated from the Department of Fine Arts of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and once worked as the Assistant Chairperson of Hong Kong Museum of Art.

In the 1990s, after its golden age, wuxia fiction was increasingly under attack by the general public and was losing its previous aura. However, the emergence of Huang infused new life into the wuxia genre.

From Fuyu Fanyun (Chinese: 覆雨翻雲) to Xun Qin Ji (Chinese: 尋秦記) and Datang Shuanglong Zhuan (Chinese: 大唐雙龍傳), Huang has combined science fiction with traditional Chinese culture (metaphysics, philosophy, etc.) to create a new style of work. Currently, his popularity has resulted in some people describing this phenomenon as flurry of Huang sweeping through China.

Upon conclusion of his longest novel, Datang Shuanglong Zhuan, Huang has commented that he would like to follow in the footstep of Louis Cha and to revise and improve his released novels.

There are some Hong Kong television series adapted from Huang's novels, such as A Step Into The Past (2001), Twin of Brothers (2004) and Lethal Weapons of Love and Passion (2006).

Yi died in Hong Kong on 5 April 2017 from a stroke while in hospital at the age of 65.

2. I was an avid reader of wuxia fictions when in secondary school in Vancouver in the 1970s.

("Wuxia", Wikipedia): "Wuxia (武俠, IPA: [ù.ɕjǎ]), which literally means 'martial heroes', is a genre of Chinese fiction concerning the adventures of martial artists in ancient China. Although wuxia is traditionally a form of literature, its popularity has caused it to spread to diverse art forms such as Chinese opera, manhua, films, television series and video games. It forms part of popular culture in many Chinese-speaking communities around the world."

After graduation, I did not have the time to read as many fictions and novels as I like but still read the occasional wuxia novels.

The three major writers of Chinese wuxia novels from the late 1950s to the 1980s were Jin Yong ("金庸"; b.1924), Liang Yusheng ("梁羽生"; 1926 – 2009), and Gu Long ("古龍"; 1938 – 1985).

After the big three, both in time and influence, the other two major writers of Chinese wuxia novels are the Hong Kong-based Malaysian Chinese Woon Swee Oan ("溫瑞安"; b.1954) and Huang Yi ("黃易"; 1952 – 2017) of Hong Kong.

I have sampled the writings of both Woon Swee Oan and Huang Yi.

Of the two, I have enjoyed the writings of Huang Yi much more.

Huang Yi early writings are science fictions, which I believe I have read them all.

Huang Yi later writings are in the wuxia genre and many believe he has broken new grounds in the genre.

I worked in Hong Kong from the mid 1990s to 2000 and Huang Yi was writing Datang Shuanglong Zhuan (Chinese: 大唐雙龍傳) at the time.

Front and Back Cover of  Volume 31 of Datang Shuanglong Zhuan


 Title Page of Volume 31 of Datang Shuanglong Zhuan

 Copyright Page of Volume 31 of Datang Shuanglong Zhuan

Huang Yi published Datang Shuanglong Zhuan as he wrote it and he published one volume per month for a total of 63 volumes.

I dutifully went to the bookstore on the day of the month Datang Shuanglong Zhuan was published and bought a volume when it was fresh off the press.


"Huang Yi (author)",  Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2017-09-24).

"Wuxia", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2017-09-24).

"黃易 (香港)", Wikipedia - The Free Encyclopedia,
(accessed 2017-09-24).