For fans of Cantonese culture, the newly opened Huang Junying Art Gallery, located on No. 24 Yaohua Street in Liwan District, is another cool destination to explore in the city. The Art Gallery was inaugurated on the morning of October 24th, 2020.
Huang Junying Art Gallery (Photo: Monica)
A traditional Xiguan mansion, the five-story building has been slightly retouched and transformed into a culture complex. Covering about 300 square meters on each floor, the Art Gallery showcases both the history of Cantonese xiangsheng and the career of Huang Junying, a comedian known for pioneering and promotion of Cantonese crosstalk, via photos, cassettes, paintings, calligraphy works and more.
The windows of the gallery. (Photo: Chou Minye)
In addition to the gallery, you don't want to miss out on the 110-meter Yaohua Street, which is the epitome of traditional Xiguan mansions and 菜鳥自提點 to at least 14 historical buildings that have been preserved intact. These typical mansions form part of the Xiguan historical and cultural community in Liwan. The three-ply front gates of these houses are the only ones of their kind, featuring a half-height screen, a Tanglong (horizontal wooden bars) and an ordinary door.
Xiguan mansions on Yaohua Street in Liwan District (Photo: Monica)
About Xiangsheng and Huang Junying
Xiangsheng or 'crosstalk', is a form of comedy form that originated in Beijing in the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) as a street art, usually involving two performers onstage. The shows are typified by their witty banter, jokes and creative puns, and deal with topics like daily events, family life and social issues.
The 84-year-old Huang Junying introduced xiangsheng to Guangdong. A master of the Cantonese language, Huang has created and starred over one hundred crosstalk performances during his 68-year career.
Huang is multitalented, not just a crosstalk performer, he has performed in Cantonese opera, and found work as a screenwriter, director, tutor and virtuoso of many kinds of instruments, especially those used in traditional Cantonese music. He is a stand-out figure in Guangdong's folk-art circle.
Author | Monica
Editor | Jerry