The Taste of Home & The Fields of Fuhai
The Taste of Home
Like the home backyard that I miss every day, The Taste of Home is a free world which has everything, small but complete. In the semi-domestic backyard, there were chickens, ducks and pigs fed with corn kernels and vegetable leaves. Each time I returned home, elders in my family would select the best ingredients and cook the most delicious and authentic hometown cuisine. The lingering fragrance clung to my teeth, and every bite was deeply embedded in my memory.
Perhaps, The Taste of Home reveals another kind of ideal life. I am willing to call it an “old life”. In such a life, you can wear cotton clothes, shorts, and can carry a hoe or pick up your paintbrush which you’ve put down for a long time. You do what you love to do, and become the real you.
The Fields of Fuhai
In the 1960s, the area near Mile temple was under the jurisdiction of Fuhai Commune. The paddy fields there, fertile and rich, were irrigated by water channeled from Xiba River. In summer, they were a sea of verdant rice seedlings. And in autumn, golden waves of rice are seen in the fields. As winter set in, children squatted in the fields in threes or fours, gleaning stray beans or catching grasshoppers.
Standing on the field ridges, we could see the dim outline of the West Mountain and the vast expanse of mist-covered waters in the Dianchi Lake. And during heading period, farmers stroked seedlings in the fields from time to time. Scarecrows seemed leisurely. They were not anxious or impatient when naughty birds landed on their shoulders. Occasionally, elderly farmers walked on the ridges, each unhurried and leading a water buffalo behind them.
Today, hundreds of neighborhoods were built on this piece of fertile land.
Li Kunwu was born in Kunming, Yunnan Province, and he is now the standing director of the China News Cartoon Society, and director of the Yunnan Artists Association. In 2010, Li’s cartoon A Chinese Life was nominated for the top award at Angoulême International Comics Festival (France). This award is consider as the “Oscar Award” in the comics world. In the same year, A Chinese Life won the gold award at the “Historical Meeting” International Manga Award. And Li became the first Asian cartoonist to win this award.