Jiang Tiefeng Biography

Jiang Tiefeng

Chinese/American

1938-

Biography

Painter and printmaker Jiang Tiefeng, also spelled Tie-Feng Jiang, was born in 1938 in Ningbo, Zhejiang Province in China. Even as a child he displayed a great love and talent for painting and drawing. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from the prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing in 1963, one of the last students to be taught in the traditional Chinese techniques as Mao's power grew. 

From 1966 to 1973, the Chinese Government assigned Tiefeng and other artists to produce "Socialist Realism" propaganda posters and sculptures in the Yunnan Province. Stifled by this sterile exercise, Jiang worked at night on his bed in a small room to create his own style. Along with two other artists, he secretly found what is now known as the "Yunnan School," risking arrest by the Red Guard. The Yunnan School focused on colorism and self expression, and would eventually become one of the foremost influences of contemporary Chinese artists. Tiefeng was commissioned to make a mural for the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, and in 1982, the Yunnan School's first exhibition outside of Communist China took place at the Institute of Art and Design in Hong Kong. That same year a National Geographic reporter, covering life in China, saw Jiang's paintings and asked to bring some to the U.S. to see if they could find him representation. Tiefeng's work was met with great success. In 1983, he traveled to the United States as part of a cultural exchange program with the University of Southern California, where he eventually took a teaching position. He moved permanently to U.S. in the 1984. 

Tiefeng continues to live and work in the United States.