viernes, 29 de septiembre de 2017
A self-described "people painter", Zhang Wen Xin knows first hand the sacrifices and indignities wrought by social strife and political upheaval as well as the suffering that people often endure.
He remembers well how Japanese troops invaded Tienjing and Beijing in 1937, and the food shortages that forced his family's move to Manchuria. He remembers the fighting between Japanese and Russian forces in 1945 and the Communists' victory over the Nationalists in 1949, the same year he graduated from Northern China University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in oil painting.
A recent profile in Southwest Art, noted Wen Xin was almost forced to abandon his art on three separate occasions because of the political unrest in his native country. "Yet each time he took it up again, without assurance that he could support himself and his family," the article noted.
To eat, he painted portraits of Lenin, Stalin and Chairman Mao. From 1951-1959, he worked in the People's Fine Art Studio, a department of China's Cultural Bureau. And he is one of the artists who designed the monument, Hero of People, in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
With the beginnings of the Cultural Revolution in the mid-1960s, he began painting Chinese history. His paintings of village peasants reflect the beauty and grace he saw in their hearts. But the government considered them as "unfinished" and unworthy. In the 1980s, China's political mood relaxed, and he was able to move to Wyoming in 1987, and later to Albuquerque. Since then, there has been a rising interest in his works.