- James Cahill
- , revised by Vyvyan Brunst
[Ch’eng Shih-fa; Cheng Tong; Ch’eng T’ung]
(b Songjiang County, Shanghai Municipality, 1921; d Shanghai, Jul 17, 2007).
Chinese painter and illustrator. By his own account Cheng was determined from an early age to become a painter. Although his father died when Cheng was nine, support from relatives enabled him to enter the Shanghai Academy of Fine Arts in 1938, where he was trained in the traditional disciplines of landscape and bird-and-flower painting. He also took an interest in the work of modern Chinese masters. Following graduation, he worked briefly in a bank before joining the Shanghai Art Publishing Agency in 1952 as an illustrator. His assignments included New Year paintings and drawings for editions of short stories. Among his first successes was a series of plates for a contemporary edition of the 18th-century satirical classic Rulin waishi (“The scholars”) by Wu Jingzi, which in 1959 won a medal at the Leipzig International Book Exhibition (Eng. trans., Yang Hsien-yi and G. Yang, The Scholars, Beijing, 1957). However, his most impressive early achievement was a set of illustrations for another classic, Lu Xun’s ...