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Zhiwei Tu is perhaps one of the only living artists to already have a museum named after him. He is a Master Artist by both the American Impressionist Society and Oil Painters of America. His work is in many museums and private collections throughout the world.
His story sounds almost too impossible to believe: born to peasant parents in aremote rural village of Guangdong Province, China, in 1951, Zhiwei got hisstart in oil painting when the Beijing government sent an "official" artist tohis village to create a public portrait of Chairman Mao Zedong. Then ateenager, Zhiwei watched the artist work for an entire day, then asked toborrow samples of his paints and returned the next day to setup alongside theprofessional and prepare his own oil portait of Mao.As the story goes, the villages were so impressed by Zhiweis finished work thatthey chose it over the government artists portrait for display."Its a long time gone now, almost 40 years,“ Zhiwei says in a recent phoneinterview from his current home in Chicago, Ill. "But they did choose it, and itwas on the second floor of the school building in my village, facing outside,for many years.“After achieving widespread recognition and acclaim in China, and studyingat the Guangzhu Institute of Fine Arts, Zhiwei traveled to United States in1987 to study at Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa. He was namedpresident of OPA (Oil Painters of America – OPA - represents more than 3,400artists throughout the United States, Canada and Mexico) in 2004 and stilltravels back to China every year for exhibits and to collect his preferredpainting supplies; last year he visited when his hometown opened a museum inhis honor.
David LeffelPortrait by Zhiwei Tu Zhiwei Tu Painting David Leffel
Zhiwei Tus paintings have been added to the permanent collections of many notable Chinese museums, including the National Museum in Beijing. His works have been shown throughout China and featured in Fine Art magazine of China, Painter of Fine Art of Hong Kong, Artist Magazine of Taiwan, and various art books and magazines in the U.S. Articles about Tu and his paintings appear regularly in many major art magazines including Art Gallery of Guangdong, and Art Gallery of Tiangjing, Jiangsu Art Magazine, Guangdong Pictorial Magazine, and Zhejiang Pictorial Magazine, as well as on Chinas television news and in many newspapers. Art books collecting his work, such as Tus Oil Paintings, Weng Shan Han Mo, and Zhiwei Tu, were published in Taiwan, China and United States, respectively. Many articles about Tu and his art have been written by well- known art critics and fellow artists. In 2006, the city of Shaoguan in Guangdong Province, China, held a celebration to dedicate an entire art museum honoring the works of Tu Zhiwei. The entrance is located off an interior courtyard inside the impressive Shaoguan Cultural Center. Mr. Tu now maintains working art studios in a Chicago suburb and in his home province of Guangdong, China. He travels extensively between the U.S., Asia, and Europe, yet remains one of the most prolific oil painters known to modern times. His fondest dream is to establish a permanent Art Institute in China for young people of various world cultures to learn and work together to fulfill their own artistic visions.Tu Portrait by David
Shirl Smithson, former President of Oil Painters of America,compiled this coffee-table sized book of works by Zhiwei Tu. Thepaintings are expertly placed in their artistic and historical contextin the introductory foreword by Prof. Chi Ke of the GuangzhouInstitute of Fine Arts. Included among the reproductions aredetails from a number of mural-sized works now in museums andprivate collections, as well as a compelling collection of figurativeimages from Chinese legend, contemporary China, and Tibet.The book is a handsome work of art in itself. A beautifulretrospective of this modern masters most dramatic works todate.
Text and pictures: Internet Copyright: All the images belong to their authors Presentation: Sanda Foişoreanu www.slideshare.net/michaelasandaSound: Vanessa Mae - Butterfly Lovers (Violin Concerto)