Jiang Tiefeng was born in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province, China in 1938. Even as a child he displayed a great love and talent for painting and drawing, and early on he knew the course his life would take. In 1959, in a highly competitive exam he won admission to the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. From 1962-64 he studied with the famous Chinese artist Huang Yong-yu, who first exposed him to the paintings from the Dunguang caves. In 1964 he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree. This was the last class to graduate before the cultural revolution.
Upon graduation in 1964 Jiang and a small number of other artists volunteered to go down to the Yunnan province. This turned out to be a blessing. This beautiful province is on the Vietnamese border. It is lush and tropical, filled with exotic flora and fauna,and is home to more than 20 different minority peoples. His new home allowed his talents to burst forth. Jiang’s talent was so obvious that from 1966-73 the Chinese Government assigned him to produce “Socialist Realism” propaganda posters and sculptures during the Cultural Revolution.
He even painted the famous large red-faced poster of Chairman Mao. But this sterile exercise did nothing to release the emotional side of Jiang’s nature, and at night he worked in his small room, on his bed, to create his own style. The natural beauty of the Yunnan province inspired him. With two other artists, He Neng and Liu Shaohui, Jiang secretly formed the nucleus of what was first called the “Heavy Colorist” school and is now known as the “Yunnan School,” began.
He Neng was born in Chendu, Sichuan in 1942, and is recognized as one of the founding members of the Yunnan Art School, Heavy Color movement, along with Liu Shaohui, and Jiang Tiefeng. He Neng showed his artistic promise early on and attended the high school affiliated with the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and then the Academy. Upon graduation in 1965, he was assigned to Kunming where he had a succession of jobs producing the political images demanded during the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution.
He served first as art editor for the Yunnan News Agency, then as set designer for the Yunnan Opera Company and subsequently in the Yunnan Film Studio. He Neng also illustrated books. He Neng’s printings won him a first prize for illustration, and by 1980 he was transferred to the Yunnan Artists Association. In 1981 he was invited to join the faculty of the Yunnan Art Institute where he is now a professor.
In that same year, he was part of the controversial “Ten Yunnan Artists” exhibition in Beijing’s National Art Gallery. In 1982 he triumphantly participated in the acclaimed “Heavy Color” exhibitions in Hong Kong and Singapore, which resulted in recognition of the “Yunnan School.” He Neng has held over 100 exhibits of his artworks internationally, including such places as: Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the United States.
Liu Shaohui was borned in Hunan Province, China in 1940. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts Department of decorative painting in 1965. He is currently a member of the Chinese Artists Association, Artists Association of Guilin, and at art professor at the Guilin Normal College. In 1981, Liu Shaohui participated in the “10 people in Yunnan exhibition.”
In 1982, he participated in the Hong Kong exhibit showcasing “Yunnan Modern Heavy Color” and is regarded as one of the original founders of the Yunnan Art School/Modern Heavy Color movement with Jiang Tiefeng and He Neng. His works have been exhibited and collected through the United States, Japan, Germany, Holland, Italy, Bulgaria, South Korea, Hong Kong, Taiwan and other countries.
He Yongkun was born in Kunming, the capital of Yunnan Province, China in 1953. In 1982, he graduated from the Printmaking Department of Yunnan Arts University. and finished additional studies at China National Academy of Fine Arts, in 1992. He Yongkun is now teaching students as a professor and as president of the Art Design Academy of Yunnan Arts University. He is active both as a printmaker and a painter. Over the last ten years, the artist has established a reputation as one of China’s leading painter and printmaker. His artworks have been exhibited throughout China, Japan, Europe, and the United States.
Ting Shao Kuang
Ting Shao Kuang was born in Chenggu, a village located in the Northern province of Shanxi, China in 1939, but has been living in the United States for the past 30 years. By age 11, he was painting every day, using cooking oil as a medium for his pigment. Despite his lack of adequate supplies, he evidenced such remarkable talent that, in 1954, he was given the opportunity to attend the prestigious high school affiliated with the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing. In 1957, Ting was accepted at Beijing’s Central Academy of Arts and Crafts. Although he was taught “Socialist Realism” in his classes, it was during this time that he discovered the works of Picasso, Matisse and Modigliani.
The paintings of these artists inspired him to experiment with new themes and techniques. It is generally known that Picasso’s paintings have exerted a great influence on the modern world, as have Oriental paintings. Ting Shao Kuang, a prominent contemporary Chinese painter in America, has produced works characterized by a combination of traditional Chinese painting techniques and the more expressive Western art forms.
He has created a unique style that does not belong exclusively to the East or the West, but to the world. Ting Shao Kuang has been exhibited and collected throughout the world and is regarded as the leader and significant contributor to the Heavy Color/Yunnan Art School/Yunnan School style. Many collaborators and students since have adopted and advanced this unique contemporary Chinese style.
Courtesy of http://www.cwgalleries.com/