The Solar Terms • China

Written and illustrated by Xiong Liang

This ancestral story revolves around an idea at the heart of Chinese civilization: that of the solar terms. According to this notion, which goes back to times immemorial, the lunar year is divided into 24 periods of time, within which the earth undergoes a series of significant changes. It stands as a significant example of China’s traditional philosophy, according to which man is at one with nature — not above nor below.

Accordingly, the main character of this book is none other than the earth itself, personified as an adorable little figure of clay, from the time it wakes from its winter slumber until the time it goes to sleep again.

It is a tribute to Xiong Liang’s mastery of traditional Chinese ink painting that his subtle art will capture the imagination of the youngest readers, while also remaining a source of wonder and inspiration in the eyes of their elders.



Xiong Liang 熊亮
Xiong Liang, born in 1975, never received any formal art training; this autodidact began his career as an illustrator at age 10. He is considered a pioneer in the field of contemporary Chinese illustration, and is noted for his distinctive visual style, minimalist, evocative, and largely inspired from traditional ink painting.

Xiong Liang has formerly been employed as a laborer, a designer and a businessman, among other jobs. The social consciousness he acquired through this variety of experiences is reflected throughout a broad range of creative output — including adult graphic novels, children’s books, novels, plays, and modern ink paintings. His strong commitment to artistic freedom and experimentation has earned him considerable praise in China and abroad.

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