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My Life in China 1.7: I Draw Soviet-China War Picture, August 19 Event


   刘蔚 2013年6月

   My Life in China 1.7: I Draw Soviet-China War Picture, August 19 Event

   Wei Liu June 2013


   Since the 2000s, there is global language/foreign language learning trend. In order to serve the people better, from June 2013, I, Wei Liu, have changed my writings to Chinese text and English text side by side, with a Chinese paragraph preceding an English paragraph, convenient for people to learn Chinese and English.


   It’s 1975, Chongqing, China, and I’m 5 years old. She’s not here now. I begin to draw pictures. I do not draw something I see or something from a book, but something in my imagination. I’m drawing on the northwest section of the paper. First I use the carbon/black pencil to delineate the figure, and then I go to my favorite part, using the color pencil to color up the picture. I have a box that has 12 color pencils. I color a general’s uniform green, belt and shoes black, collar silver gray, the star on the hat red, the face yellow. And draw a sword on the right side of his body. Looking at my finished work, most of it is green, a small part of it is red. Tiny red among massive green, I love that kind of looking.


   Then I move to the northeast section of the paper and begin my second picture. Having delineated the figure of a person, I put down the black pencil and take up the color pencil. I color his face yellow, suit brown. What color should I color his pants to make it look good? Black? I don’t like black very much. Blue? It does not seem good. Purple? Yeah, purple. My purple pencil is moving back and forth on his pants. On his nose, I put a pair of glasses. I’m drawing a portrait of the Japanese Prime Minister. He must have lots of knowledge and may wear the glasses. I let him wear a pair of shoes and color them black. When I finish, I look at it. It does not have as much color as the first picture, but it looks more animated.


   Now I’m drawing on the southwest section of the paper. Having delineated the tanks, the troops, the explosions of the shells, I put down the black pencil and take up the color pencil. I color the tanks and the cannons green, the belts of the soldier brown, the explosions red. The soldiers are in two different colors. The soldiers with the tanks are brown and the soldiers with the cannons are green because two armies are fighting each other: the Soviet Union and the Communist China. The media in China often says that we must shed the last drop of blood to defeat the invasion of the Soviet Union. In the movie, our army always looks green. So I color them green. I don’t know the color of the Soviet Army’s uniform. It must be different from ours. I cannot imagine two armies with the same color uniform can fight each other. So I guess the uniform of the Soviet Army is brown. I hear the Soviet Union has many tanks. So I let tanks be on their side. And for our side, it is the cannons. I hear our army does not lack cannons. Having finished drawing this picture, I looked at it, so grandeur.


   Then I’m drawing on the southeast section of the paper. Having delineated the figure by the black pencil, I color the sky blue, the several clouds white, the bird black, the grass green, the creek blue. I give a name to this picture: Spring. I don’t know how to write the two Chinese characters, but I know the meaning. It’s in my heart. Looking at the picture, I feel serene.


   This piece of paper is done with the 4 pictures. I carefully store it in a place on the desk. After my Mom comes home around 6:00 pm, I’ll let her give grades for my drawings/pictures. She gives A to some pictures of mine and B to others. B disappoints me more or less. I want A.


   Then I take out another piece of paper and begin to draw. I finish another piece of paper, another 4 pictures. Outside the window, the sky is not as bright as the time I began drawing, which was around 2:00 pm. And now it has the dim tincture. Before long my Mom will come back. Painting, painting, painting. “Click”, the door lock sends sound to my ear and my Mom appears at the door.


   “Mom, you look at what I’ve drawn,” I talk to her excited, giving her two pieces of paper.


   “Wei, you draw well,” she says.


   “Then you give me grades—” I say.


   “All right,” she takes up a red pencil and writes down grades on my paper. She gives A to most of my pictures and B to some of my pictures.


   “Wei, Mom has something to do and need to use the desk. You just stay here and don’t run out of the home,” Mom says.


   Now I don’t have anything to do or a place to draw. My Mom is here. I can feel she does not have much interest in my painting. I imagine if I draw before her, she may display her dislike for my drawing and say something to discourage me. Her comments on my drawings are so short. I doubt she has looked at my drawings earnestly. I don’t worry about this very much. Once I can get color pencils and paper from her, it will be all right.


   I want to know the world very much, but it is very hard for me to step our of this 4-story gray building. I pray. I fall asleep. In my dream, I get a magic telescope that let me see the future. I hold the telescope to my eye and enter the 21st century. I see the Soviet Event of August 19, 1991.

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