Rebel Pepper

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Wang Liming
Born1973 (age 45–46)
Xinjiang, China
Pseudonym(s)Rebel Pepper

Wang Liming (Chinese: 王立铭; pinyin: Wáng Lìmíng; born 1973), better known under the pseudonym Rebel Pepper (变态辣椒), is a Chinese political cartoonist who has left China to live in Japan.[1] Wang left China out of fears for his safety resulting from the increasing crackdown on freedom of expression by the Chinese Communist Party.[1][2]

Censorship[edit]

By March 2012, Liming reported that his user account on Sina Weibo had been deleted over 180 times.[3] In July 2014, his microblog accounts were deleted from the sites of two major Chinese media companies, Sina and Tencent – from which he'd been reaching close to 1 million followers. His page on the wiki-based Baidu Baike was also removed, along with his store on the e-commerce platform Taobao.[1] The People's Daily has accused Wang of being a "Japan-worshipping traitor" and called for his arrest.[4] After losing his sources of income, he has made a public appeal for financial help.[5]

Style and approach[edit]

Wang start drawing political cartoons in 2009, and originally coined the name 'Perverse Pepper' (biantai lajiao) for himself – later modifying it for English usage at the suggestion of a Taiwanese friend. He frequently draws himself into his cartoons, as 'the Pepper', described by one journalist as a "sometimes sad, sometimes oblivious, sometimes lascivious chili, with large, intense eyes".[1]

Activism[edit]

In 2012, Liming depicted the Communist Party as an anglerfish hypnotizing smaller fish (the Chinese people) with the image of Lei Feng, a famous soldier in the People's Liberation Army.[3] He has satirized Communist Party General Secretary Xi Jinping, depicting Xi as a steamed dumpling surrounded by other breakfast foods 'kowtowing' to him as an old-time emperor;[6] and as a shirtless post-coital smoker in bed with a young man. Wang depicted former Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong boasting of his 'victim count' to leaders of Islamic State.[1]

His work often appears in China Digital Times and its related publications. In February 2016, he created artwork in support of persecuted lawyer Zhang Kai, who had worked with Christians to fight the government's removal of crucifixes from churches in Wenzhou.[7]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e Stone, Isaac (2015-08-31). "Rebel Without a Country". Foreign Policy. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  2. ^ "Chinese cartoonist Wang Liming stays in Japan amid fears for safety | South China Morning Post". Scmp.com. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  3. ^ a b Langfitt, Frank (2012-03-16). "Provocative Chinese Cartoonists Find An Outlet Online". npr.org.
  4. ^ "China's Rebel Cartoonist". WSJ. 2015-05-17. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  5. ^ Henochowicz, Anne. "Still in Japan, Cartoonist Rebel Pepper Seeks Help - China Digital Times (CDT)". China Digital Times. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  6. ^ "Chinese cartoonist Bai Budan draws cute, risky battle lines in political satire | South China Morning Post". Scmp.com. 2015-11-02. Retrieved 2016-06-04.
  7. ^ Beach, Sophie. "Rebel Pepper (变态辣椒): Zhang Kai on the Cross - China Digital Times (CDT)". China Digital Times. Retrieved 2016-06-04.