WANG, HUI-MING, 84, of Montague, died March 29, 2006 with his children by his side. Always generous, seldom shy, and often animated, Hui-Ming was quick of wit, diligent, and well-respected by all those who knew him. Although schooled in economics, he instead chose to follow his affinity for art by becoming an artist, a printmaker, an art professor, an author, a poet, and a mentor for budding artists.
Born in Wuhu, Anhui Province, China, Hui-Ming was the eldest son of Yi-Lan Wang and Ming-Ji (Zhou) Wang. He left home when he was sixteen years old and attended the University of Amoy in China.
By virtue of his English proficiency, he served as an interpreter with the U.S. Army Air Forces in the China-Burma-India Theater during World War II. He was an interpreter at the Infantry Training Center in Guilin and at the Command and General Staff School in Kunming. He won a Commendation of Merit from the U.S. Army Air Forces. In the course of his duties he met General and Madam Chiang Kai-Shek and top U.S commanders, including Generals Stilwell and "Hap" Arnold.
He immigrated to the U.S. after the war and resumed his education, earning a Bachelor of Science in Economics from the University of Missouri and a Master of Arts in Economics from New York University.
Hui-Ming met his future wife, Anna Look, in Brooklyn when he sought assistance with typing his master's thesis. Their romance blossomed, and they married in October 1951. They moved to New Haven, CT and started a family. Hui-Ming taught Chinese language and literature at Yale University.
Following his desire to be an artist, Hui-Ming joined the Art Department at the Moses Brown School in Providence, RI, eventually rising to become department head. In 1964 he joined the UMass/Amherst Art Department, teaching Painting, Drawing, Calligraphy and many other courses. He served on the board of the Massachusetts Review. His students loved his energetic personality and his vivacious teaching style. His engaging enthusiasm for art inspired many of them to become respected and successful artists in their own right.
Hui-Ming retired from UMass as a full Professor of Art in 1988, allowing him to devote his full time to artistic endeavors. His art evolved through many media, including watercolor, oil, woodcuts, and calligraphy. His ability to synergistically blend Chinese and Western styles reflected his love of art and poetry. Numerous galleries and museums featured his work.
Hui-Ming created Epoh Studio Press, collaborating with printmaker Harold McGrath of The Gehenna Press. His limited-edition set of "Birds and Animals" prints published by The Gehenna Press is included in the Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library collection at Yale University and at The Library of Congress.
He published five other books, including "The Boat Untied", poems by Tang Dynasty poets, and "Land on the Tip of a Hair: Poems in Wood," illustrated by woodcuts for poems written by poets he knew personally: Robert Bly, David Ignatow, Linda Pastan, William Stafford, James Tate, and many others. In "Ten Poems and Lyrics by Mao Tse- tung," Hui-Ming translated ten poems by Mao Tse-tung which concern historical incidents in the Chinese Revolution, especially the Long March into Northwestern China during the 1930s. Hui-Ming's woodcuts illustrate "Jumping Out of Bed," a book of poetry by Robert Bly, and "Robert Francis: Collected Poems 1936-1976," a book of poetry dedicated to him by Amherst poet and dear friend, Robert Francis.
Hui-Ming created campaign posters to support the anti-Vietnam war platforms of 1968 Democratic presidential candidate, Eugene Joseph "Gene" McCarthy and 1972 Democratic presidential candidate George McGovern. Both candidates visited Hui-Ming in Amherst in appreciation.
Hui-Ming and Anna shared a passion for both indoor and outdoor gardening. He enjoyed growing fragrant spices, flowering trees and irises, as well as "penjing", the Chinese art of creating a miniature landscape in a pot. His studio in Montague welcomes visitors with a verdant garden in front, and a peaceful garden behind it for artistic contemplations.
Hui-Ming was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Anna Look Wang, by eighteen days. Hui-Ming is survived by his children, Dennis of Alexandria, VA, James of Cardiff, CA, Kathleen of Amherst, MA, and four grandchildren, Andrew, Christine, Eric and Anna.
80+ images of his art