Bai Yi

Bai Yi

Comic artist

Bai Yi is a student at the Maryland Institute College of Art.

"Merry Christmas" echoes in foreign lands...

[Comic] Little one, sing a Christmas song

We lost many people in 2023. Missing Ryuichi Sakamoto, I dug out the movie Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence. History often repeats itself. Is there an intersection between Eastern and Western cultural conflicts? And is there a standard for measuring humanity and faith in the face of war? Can love that transcends race and gender bring people closer? All we can do is continue to explore the right and wrong in these questions. The tragedy of war never fails to make one realise that accepting the enemy does not mean sparing oneself. Celliers’ death planted a seed in Yonoi’s heart, and so we all shared the growth of the seed. May Christmas in wartime still be beautiful.
"I remember the day Einstein came to me in a dream"

[Comic] The other side of the coral reef

I recently watched Oppenheimer and it reminded me of a quote attributed to Albert Einstein: “The state was made for man, not man for the state.” This was possibly the difference between Einstein and J. Robert Oppenheimer. The meaning of “state” is abstract, fluid and changing, and the idea that “I will always love my country” has long been shaken. Just as Einstein must have loved Germany but had to leave, there was a lot of helplessness and conflict — between people and government, politics and science, domination and egalitarianism. While the scientific spirit of “facts over authorities and books; always exchanging, comparing and reassessing opinions” is somewhat idealistic, like the law, it is worth holding on to. If academics do not stand with the people, who then will fight “evil”? Between scholars and the wise ones, there is just a little more justice, conscience and sense of humanity. — Bai Yi
A new age is dawning fast.

[Comic] AI: The people's new religion

As a member of the post-2000 generation, I would say the younger generation can arrogantly claim that artificial intelligence (AI) is not unfamiliar to us, and we are the natives of virtual reality. On the contrary, it is always those stubborn "old folks" who struggle to adapt and become restless, as if they were inside the palace when Puyi wore glasses. But the true enemy of humanity is never technology. Strengthening regulations, accelerating the implementation of corresponding policies, and mitigating the existential threats brought by AI should be our top priority. Because, regardless of how things unfold, our future lives will always be tied to AI. — Bai Yi (Created with the aid of AI, with thanks to Mathieu Borysevicz and Learning From Hangzhou, as well as other creators for visual material provided.)

[Comic] Against the blazing sun

People from northeastern China are like African Americans or Osakans. We have a history of wandering, irrational optimism and a sense of righteous clannishness. In our veins runs comic talent, along with being governed and discriminated against. Under all the snow and ice lie warm poems and folk songs, while the wild fires, steel and concrete encase a helpless rebelliousness. We understand everything, we know everything, but we choose to be kind. We are forced to leave our homes to seek a place that will accept us. We will say nothing. Our leather coats and dark glasses will never come off. We will tell you: "This is nothing to us." — Bai Yi, comic artist
"There's no way out."

[Comic] Even if the red sun still rises tomorrow: A Chinese youth's reflection on China's Covid fight

Under the rays of the sun, we spoke of the future and what lay ahead, of democracy and science, human rights and freedom. We mourned those who died due to man-made disasters, not wanting them to die with a grievance. We held up blank papers and shouted that this was our duty. But how are we to make sense of this ridiculous chaotic world? Do we know where we are going?
"Doctors scour mountains and the sea to exterminate every single virus."

[Comic] Dystopia or 'a beautiful new world'?

Comic artist Bai Yi's artwork gives a glimpse into a dystopian world where individual lives are considered insignificant before the all-powerful and all-important state machine, and where herculean efforts are needed to uphold the dignity of human lives.
“Studying became a moral duty."

[Comic] Study hard, get out and never come back

US-based young comic artist Bai Yi reflects on China's gaokao (university entrance exams), which took place in early June. Every year, Chinese students cross this narrow log bridge of national exams, hoping to find a clearing on the other side. Students from regions across China, rich and poor, see this as a possible ticket to a better life and maybe even a passport to the West. When the stakes are so high, studying becomes a moral obligation to one's family. Some make it out, but on that journey, many things are left behind.
"The Chinese are fighting over vegetables!"

[Comic] When Shanghai residents fight over vegetables

Ever since the Omicron variant started wreaking havoc in Shanghai, a city once hailed as the beacon of a modernised China has descended into a state of chaos. All sorts of horror stories have flooded international media and social media platforms. US-based young Chinese comic artist Bai Yi looks at Shanghai from afar, saddened and frustrated by the absurdity of the news being circulated.
"The string is broken."

[Comic] Poverty alleviation in China: Mama, where are you going?

Poverty alleviation has been a hot topic in China in recent years. A documentary about the Daliang Mountains where some poor communities live made young Chinese comic artist Bai Yi reflect on the suffering and helplessness of poverty. While China’s poverty alleviation programme has helped ease the situation, how many children in the mountain areas fail to get adequate help for various reasons, and generations continue to suffer the same fate? A kite with a broken string is difficult to retrieve; one can only pray that some kind soul will pick it up.