Cancer-fighting cartoonist's positive legacy lives on

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, November 27, 2022
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A popular Chinese cartoonist who passed away from cancer a decade ago was remembered in her hometown while her legacy lives on.

Decorations for the 10th anniversary of Xiong Dun's passing are installed in Gushi town, Songyang county, Zhejiang province, Nov. 16, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Songyang Gaoqiang Opera Heritage Development & Beijing Xiang Yao Culture Media]

Xiang Yao, whose online pseudonym was "Bearton" or "Xiong Dun," died on Nov. 16, 2012, after losing her battle with a malignant tumor. She was only 30 years old. On Nov. 16, 2022, a memorial event was held in her hometown, Songyang county, Zhejiang province. Xiang's family, friends, teachers, classmates and fellow comic book cartoonists gathered to remember her.

Xiang was famous for her comic books, including one entitled "Go Away Mr. Tumor," recording the final stage of her life battling cancer with humor and optimism, which also was adapted into a stage show, a TV series and a blockbuster movie.

The movie, directed by Han Yan and starring Bai Baihe and Daniel Wu, even was selected by Chinese film authorities in 2015 as the country's entry for the Foreign Language Film category for the 88th Academy Awards.

Xiong Dun's father speaks at an event to commemorate the 10th anniversary of his daughter's passing. The event was  held in Songyang county, Zhejiang province, Nov. 16, 2022. [Photo courtesy of Songyang Gaoqiang Opera Heritage Development & Beijing Xiang Yao Culture Media]

The late cartoonist's art, positive energy, social influence and legacy shine on, as she had wished to help make the world a better place.

The local authorities built a memorial art museum, the Xiong Dun Art Training Base, and a one-kilometer art gallery trail in her hometown to display her works.

The College of Design of Jiaxing University also signed a strategic cooperation agreement with the local government on Nov. 16 to mark her passing.

The proceeds from her works were donated to various charities, including the United Nations International Children's Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and orphanages. The book "Go Away Mr. Tumor" has also been donated to 213 tumor hospitals around China.

Special 10th-anniversary editions of Xiong Dun's books are published. [Image courtesy of China Pioneer Publishing Technology Co., Ltd.]

Just before her anniversary, it was announced that all of Xiang's works would be re-published in China. Her father wrote the emotional preface for the books.

"We are heartbroken and feel proud simultaneously, as many people benefit from her story and experiences, then ignite their own bravery and passion for life again. People call this positive energy the Xiong Dun spirit. But I think my daughter may want to share her stories to inspire anyone struggling to live. She wants to infect others with her smile and hopes they can all be happy and laugh. And when those people smile back at her from every angle, that would also inspire Xiong Dun," Xiang's father noted.

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