Open main menu

Badiucao (巴丢草) is a Chinese political cartoonist, artist and rights activist who lives in Australia. He is regarded as one of China’s most prolific and well-known political cartoonists.[2] His pen-name has been adopted to protect his identity.[3]

BornShanghai, China
Notable works
‘’Watching Big Brother: Political Cartoons by Badiucao.’’; Covering China from Cyberspace 2014’’[1]


Style and approachEdit

Badiucao utilizes satire and pop culture references to get his point across. He often manipulates archetypal images from Communist Party propaganda to make subversive political statements.[2] His work has been used by Amnesty International, Freedom House, BBC, CNN and China Digital Times; and has been exhibited around the world.[4]

He asserts that the government authorities in China are very concerned that their suppression of human rights activism is attracting attention from international media.[5]

In an early 2016 interview, he said that “Cartoons and portraits can create a unified visual symbol, which can help spread the message and attract sustained attention, in order to create pressure from public opinion. Maybe this pressure can improve the situation for those who are imprisoned, as well as comfort the family members of the persecuted.”[6]


Badiucao is extremely active and often responds quickly to prevailing news and events in relation to China, Taiwan and the Chinese diaspora.

In response to the PLA-aligned Kathy Chen being appointed the head of Twitter in China, Badiucao drew Twitter’s logo, a bird, impaled on the yellow star that is a feature of China’s flag.[7]

Badiucao has supported other artists and dissidents. In 2013, Professor Ai Xiaoming from Sun Yat-sen University, posted a picture of herself partially naked, covered in writing conveying a strong political message. In response, Badiucao posted a cartoon in which she became a big pair of scissors, with gun barrels protruding from her nipples.[8]

In early 2016, he created a series of artworks supporting Wu Wei,[9] a former head tutor at the University of Sydney, who had resigned after an incident in which he referred to certain students from mainland China as 'pigs'.[10] Wu Wei had used the character tun (豚), instead of the more commonly used character, zhu (猪). Online dissidents have co-opted tun as a slang reference to guan'erdai, the second-generation offspring of Chinese Communist Party officials.[11]

In May 2016, the newly elected President of Taiwan, Tsai Ing-wen, was subject to an attack upon her marital status by Wang Weixing, a scholar with the Chinese People's Liberation Army.[12] Badiucao highlighted the irony of the attack with a cartoon comparing Tsai’s marital status to that of Xi Jinping, current General Secretary of the Communist Party of China.[13]

After Xi Jinping toured state media, Badiucao showed General secretary Xi being greeted by a cast of monkeys and snakes. This alludes to the media’s role as a ‘mouthpiece of the Party’. The Chinese term for mouthpiece (喉舌) equates to 'throat and tongue' and is a homophone for monkey snake (猴蛇).[14]

In 2018, an art show about Baodiucao was planned to be held in Hong Kong. However, the show has been canceled due to "safety concerns" later with threats made by the Chinese authorities relating to the artist.[15]


  1. ^ China Digital Times (15 January 2015). Covering China from Cyberspace in 2014. China Digital Times Inc. pp. 3–. ISBN 978-0-9898243-3-0.
  2. ^ a b "Badiucao e-book". 5 February 2016.
  3. ^ "Chinese cartoonist Badiucao uses humour to fight the 'Great Firewall'". 22 February 2016.
  4. ^ "Watching Big Brother: Chinese Cartoonist Watches Back - Comic Book Legal Defense Fund".
  5. ^ "February - 2016 - CARTOONISTS RIGHTS".
  6. ^ "Watching Big Brother: A Q&A with Chinese Political Cartoonist Badiucao - The LARB Blog".
  7. ^ Rauhala, Emily. "Twitter's new China head makes spectacularly awkward debut". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  8. ^ K. Jacobs (20 May 2015). The Afterglow of Women's Pornography in Post-Digital China. Palgrave Macmillan US. pp. 62–. ISBN 978-1-137-47914-3.
  9. ^ "Badiucao: why I am supporting Wu Wei | SBS Your Language". 2016-04-26. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  10. ^ Philip Wen, Eryk Bagshaw & Kate Aubusson (2016-04-18). "University of Sydney tutor Wu Wei resigns after calling students 'pigs'". Retrieved 2016-06-02.
  11. ^ Philip Wen (2016-04-20). "University of Sydney 'racist' tutor Wei Wu row inspires dissident artwork". Illawarra Mercury. Retrieved 2016-06-03.
  12. ^ Rauhala, Emily. "Chinese state media attacks Taiwan's president for being a single woman". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016-05-28.
  13. ^ "Word of the Week: Straight Man Cancer". China Digital Times (CDT).
  14. ^ Beach, Sophie. "Badiucao (巴丢草): The Monkey-Snake Party - China Digital Times (CDT)". China Digital Times. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
  15. ^ Griffiths, James (November 2, 2018). "Chinese dissident artist's Hong Kong show canceled over 'safety concerns'". CNN.

External linksEdit