W ith Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day just around the corner, what better time to warm your loved one’s heart with the cheerful McMug and McDull? This season, Sotheby’s Hong Kong Fine Chinese Paintings Department collaborates with Alice Mak and Brian Tse to bring back the iconic piglets, to shower us with love through their “Pork Art” in eighteen recent works. From the moment I’ve got a crush on you, I oink you as we are match made in heaven. In all ups and downs, all you need is love.
McMug, McDull and the friends from Chun Tian Hua Hua Kindergarten are well-known characters in the Chinese community. Since the 1980s, these characters have made recurring appearances in “Ming Pao Children’s Weekly”, which came with every issue of “Ming Pao Weekly”. Over time, these publications garnered a significant adult following, with the first collection compiled adopting the title of “Fairy Tales for the Adults”, which draws on the idea of great men do not lose sight of their child-like hearts of purity and kindness. In the mid-1990s, stories of McMug and McDull, centred around daily life and current affairs, were published in the form of single or four-panel comic strips in “Ming Pao” and the “Hong Kong Economic Times”. These were later amassed into volumes such as “McMug Comic Strips”, “Sort-of Blue Sub-tropics” and “McDull – From Honey to BBQ Pork”.
In terms of merchandise, McMug and McDull have utilised local colloquial vernacular and humour to create a series of heartfelt cards, stimulating business through cultural means while simultaneously expanding readership.
The release of the film “My Life as McDull” in 2001 marked the transition from comics to animation. Featuring McDull as the main character, these cartoon films have repeatedly obtained awards at various film festivals, including the Grand Prix Award at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival, considered the Oscars of the animation world. Additionally, statues of both McDull and the “Prince de la Bun” have been installed on the Avenue of Stars and Hong Kong Avenue of Comic Stars.
McMug and McDull have also enthusiastically participated in the promotion of the arts. For example, “This is the Greatest Place! The Forbidden City and the World of Small Animals” and “Bowls of Happiness: Treasures from China and the Forbidden City” introduce ancient Chinese wooden architecture and the humanistic spirit of traditional auspicious designs, with their English translations receiving various children’s book awards. Additionally, for over a decade now, McDull and Hong Kong Sinfonietta have held multiple classical music concerts . In 2019, they even went so far as to making McDull the world’s first animated character to become an Artist Associate.
從漫畫到動畫，自2001年推出首部電影《麥兜故事》，以麥兜為主角的多部動畫長片，屢獲電影節大獎，包括被視為「動畫界奧斯卡」的Grand Prix Annecy。麥兜銅像及菠蘿油王子塑像，現分別置於電影星光大道及動漫星光大道。
The blue of a moonlit night only appears in your imagination.
‘If you are moved by the pale blue of a moonlit night, then let me kiss…your gentle brain.’
I love the wind, the water, and the snails. I love every little thing in life because I love you.
A bowl of happiness is originally a children’s book in which McDull explains traditional auspicious symbols, drawing several examples from Dayazhai porcelain. Inspired by this, Alice Mak created two paintings of A bowl of happiness, with porcelain-inspired patterning and an antique sensibility. See how these two curious piglets breathe new life into the world of antiques.
This is the largest McDull watercolour on paper to date. For sure, a bigger pork belly carries more love!
麥家碧@麥兜美術室，每次見到你，個心 PORK PORK 聲
Alice Mak @ McDull Artroom, You ring my belly
Estimate: 90,000 - 200,000 HKD
Featuring twenty Mcdulls, this ‘Pork Art’ star lot is colourful yet subtle.
麥家碧@麥兜美術室，「I’ve got a crush on you」
Alice Mak @ McDull Artroom, I've got a crush on you
Estimate: 150,000 - 300,000 HKD
Painted in undiluted colour ink, the four lovely pieces convey pure, intense emotions from innocent McDull.
Based on the iconic McDull greeting cards series. Alice Mak’s favourite combination of watercolour, pastel, and ink create a gentle yet profound ambience.