Artist's Biography - Tiefeng Jiang
Jiang Tie-Feng first discovered his intense fascination for art as a child growing up in Lingpo, Zhejiang Province, China. At the age of twenty, he left his home to pursue his future as an artist in Yunnan Province. The school, which he chose to apply to, was the prestigious Central Art Institute of Peking. After viewing his portfolio, the examiners admitted Jiang along with only 59 other aspiring artists, selected in an annual nationwide admissions program.
By occupation, Jiang illustrated children books and government posters. Most of his other time was spent performing functions that the government considered essential, i.e. political studies and attending political meetings. His personal time became increasingly valuable, and none was wasted. Even the traditional after lunch nap was utilized by Jiang as a moment when he could add that one line or last brush-stroke, that would signify the completion of another painting.
1980 saw the success of Jiang's giant mural painted in the Yunnan State Room of the Great Hall of Peking. The building where this is housed is the Supreme State Building of all China. In 1981 two more significant achievements occurred - Jiang was promoted to Art Instructor at the Yunnan Art Institute, and he was given larger, "more civilized" quarters for he and his family.
What emerges from Jiang's work are characteristic references to Chinese Buddhist Grotto paintings. Subject matter and inspiration are derived from the rich cultural heritage and 22 ethnic minority groups that inhabit the area where he lives. His color schemes can be subtle mixtures of grays and pastels or eye catching bright orange, red, spring green and black. A dominant force in his work is the female nude; she can be executed sleeping gracefully astride rampant horses or dancing in abandon with her sisters. Symbolic owls, cranes, swans, bulls and roosters all sway within the background of his pieces.
Currently Jiang's work is acknowledged in China as being in the forefront of their contemporary art movement. The years spent working under the harsh conditions have taken their toll on his now diminishing eyesight. In his own opinion, the works he values most, are the pieces considered not presentable to or suitable for Jiang's fellow countrymen just a few short years ago.
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