Wen Ze Chen painting purchased in Santa Fe on January 21, 2006.  Colleen and I were celebrating our twenty-fifth wedding anniversary.  We stayed in a Bed and Breakfast south of town.

Wen Ze Chen was born in 1957 in Chang Le, Fujian. Since the age of 8, he has loved to paint. His first teacher was Mu Xi Shu. As a young adult, he was a farmer for 5 yrs. During that time, he sketched numerous portraits and sketches. In 1984, he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts degree from Su Zhou, China University and College of Art. From 1984 to1992, he was a lecturer of architecture at HuaQiao University, also known as the Overseas Chinese University, of Quanzhou, Fujain, China. He is multifaceted; a talented architect, contemporary sculptor, illustrator of storybooks, gouache painter, Chinese painter, oil painter, and writer. In China, because of his studious spirit, he rose from humble beginnings to become a respected university

teacher. In 1992, Wen Ze came to the United States of America to pursue his art. In spite of his education and achievements in China, as an immigrant in America, he became an “artist of the streets.” Wen endured great loneliness but, because of his desire to understand Western art, overcame a variety of obstacles of life.

Wen Ze settled in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Georgia 13 years ago where he leads a quiet life. Over these years, he has invented two styles of painting. The first style transforms Buddha wall carvings into paintings. The second is a very impasto style of oil painting by palette knife. This innovative style has boldly broken through and altered Western art. It has come to be well known and loved.  People call his art “the art of a man” and “the bold landscape of a man.” His paintings are now in collections from coast to coast. He has exhibited his work in over one hundred group and solo shows. Many of the world’s most distinguished private individuals and corporate entities are counted among his collectors. Various universities, libraries and Museums have his paintings in their permanent collections. Wen Ze has been awarded honors in numerous exhibitions including shows in New York, Georgia, and Taiwan. He has continuously devoted himself to the exchange of American and Chinese culture. During the1996 Summer Olympics in Atlanta, he held the position as chairman of the Asian Art Association. Publications including “Artists of Chinese Origin in North American Overseas Directory,” “Paintings by American Chinese Artists 1970-1999,” “the Works of Famous Chinese Artists,” “Who’s Who of North American Overseas Chinese Artists II,” and “Calligraphy and Paintings of Chinese People” have featured his work. His paintings have been celebrated in “Time Magazine”, “Blue Milk”, “Mountain Living” and the Atlanta Constitution, as well as being acknowledged several times on Atlanta TV, in local magazines and news articles and even a special radio interview.  Wen Ze’s story also appeared in “The Works of Famous Chinese Artists”.

 When the economic recession swept the world, Wen Ze combined his art with words of encouragement and became a columnist for the China Tribune newspaper. Through his columns, he is able to reach the Chinese community in America and has been well received. The optimism he shares brings warmth to the heart and soul of his audience. Both his oil paintings and his articles are like the experiences of his life; strong, rich and varied. The stroke of the palette knife is like an Eastern calligraphy brush transformed into a soaring Western sword and reflects his determination and strong willed spirit.

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