Simple. Elegant. Witty. Intelligent. No, we’re not talking about your favorite stand-up comedian, dear Pandas—these words perfectly describe the thought-provoking, minimalistic, and brilliant black and white comics drawn by Chinese artist Tango Gao. (Though, he does add a dash of color here and there—see if you can spot them!)
The artist has been illustrating his comics since 2010 after taking up the challenge of drawing one comic a day and posting them on the Weibo social media website. After that, Tango became known all over the globe for his quirky cartoons that poke fun at how odd modern life really is. He has been drawing every day since then and we’re very jealous of how disciplined and focused he is!
We’ve collected a list of Tango’s newest and best comics for you to browse, so have fun, enjoy, and upvote your fave light-hearted and hilarious cartoons as you’re scrolling down. When you’re done, you can find Bored Panda’s previous lists of Tango’s comics here: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, and Part 4.
Tango is also known as Shanghai Tango and Tango Sleepless. However, his real name is Gao Youjun. He now has over 229k Instagram followers, up from 108k the last time we wrote about him a year and a half ago.
The artist graduated from the Mathematics Department of Shanghai Jiao Tong University but he realized that he’d much rather be an artist than a scientist. So he went for it and finished his Master’s degree at the Academy of Arts & Design.
After that, he entered the advertising industry at the end of the 1990s. Eventually, after his friend’s dare, he ended up drawing comics that resonated with people all over the globe. He also published a book called Backside of the Moon which collects some of his greatest illustrations. No. 3 Magazine said that the book was capable of making “stressed-out salaried folk see the primitive beauty of our existence.”
Tango is an opponent of censorship in China and uses his art to explore serious topics, too, like how obsessed our society is with social media and technology, as well as what the state of US and Chinese politics is like. Tango has held art exhibitions around the world, including in the US, as well as Europe.
Jiayun Feng writes on SupChina how they met the artist and spoke to him about his work. According to Tango, his cartoons aren’t as effortless as they might seem at first glance. Each comic takes him only an hour to draw but the amount of brainstorming and polishing that goes into the process beforehand is immense.
“Behind every post is a couple of failed attempts,” Tango explained that a lot of ideas get thrown out the window during the process. “It’s not like I wake up every morning to a fantastic idea.”
Tango also doesn’t like being labeled as an artist because he doesn’t feel like he’s reached that level yet: “True artists are self-absorbed. They don’t have to think about whether the general public can understand their works or not, as long as there is a fraction of people who appreciate them.”