Today’s Qixi Festival, a Chinese version of Valentine’s Day, is visually interpreted in diverse graphic styles in this series of hand-drawn illustrations by some of Asia’s most promising draftsmen. Following a call out for illustrators across Asia to offer their
perspective on the romantic tale at the heart of the Qixi Festival, Shanghai-based illustrators Nini Sum and Mojo Wang were picked by NOWNESS Weibo followers alongside five other artists to offer their perspective on the romantic tale at the heart of the Qixi Festival. Falling in late summer, when the stars Altair and Vega are high in the night sky, the annual fête sees young couples exchange gifts and amorous declarations to celebrate the story of a fairy girl falling in love with a mortal boy. In a tale somewhat reminiscent of the Greek myth of Persephone, tradition has it that the couple were separated by a galactic river created by the fairy’s uncompromising goddess mother, only being reunited once a year when the magpies of the world would take pity on them, flying up to heaven to make a bridge so that the lovers could spend a single night together. “I wanted to capture the difficulty of being apart so I sketched a man waiting for his lover, the mask covering his sad eyes and tears,” explains Wang, who has previously been published in Chinese editions of Esquire, Elle Men and L’Officiel Hommes.