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Self-made caricaturist draws life of migrants

(Xinhua)

08:29, October 18, 2012

BEIJING, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- As a child, Wang Gaojie spent long hours imitating the black-and-white illustrations in his schoolbooks.

He drew landscapes, animals and portraits of great people like Napoleon and Mao Zedong.

Despite his love of fine arts, Wang never went beyond high school. At 18, he left his countryside home in central China's Henan Province and followed a fellow villager to Ningbo, an industrial city in the rich coastal province of Zhejiang that was rapidly being urbanized.

Now at 26, Wang still enjoys drawing. The only difference is he draws mainly migrants like himself.

A collection of his works, published on the web, described his first impressions of the city and the simple, often tedious life of migrants.

Wang himself was the hero in the collection, a plump young man with tangled hair.

It opened with his own arrival in Ningbo.

"It was in 2005, shortly after the Chinese New Year," Wang wrote. The man in the picture was carrying a bag and a bundle of clothing. "It was unusually cold and was still snowing in March, which was quite rare."

"Almost eight years have passed. Ningbo has changed a lot and so have I," reads the text of another caricature that showed a naive-looking Wang in 2005 and a heavy-built, bearded man smoking a cigarette. "That's me in 2012."

Another caricature showed a younger Wang grimacing at work. "I've taken different factory jobs such as assembly worker, product examiner and warehouse keeper," the text reads.

It was an account of Wang's own experience at the factory.

"Everyone follows his own schedule and has his own objectives in life," he said.

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