The 19th century Chinese cartoons with a revolutionary message for Singapore

THEY MAY BE mostly associated with lighthearted humour today, but cartoons were serious business in China in the late 19th century, as a new generation of artists responded to the turmoil of the era by reaching out to the masses with this emerging medium. As reforms and revolution took aim at imperial rule, Chinese in the diaspora also became exposed to the pointed satirical and social messages embedded in political cartoons. Publications launched by revolutionaries and émigré…