Wei Luan, International muralist and painter
Wei was born in Manchuria, China in 1957. His father was a local
politician and his mother was a pediatrician. With very busy
parents, Wei was actually raised by his grandmother. Wei went
to school in Manchuria and studied at Luxun University, the finest
university in China dedicated to only fine arts. The year Wei
applied to Luxun University, he was one of 43 students selected
out of 8,000 applicants. Only seven of those selected were involved
in the painting arts. While at Luxun he studied mural art for
After graduation he became an associate professor at Harbin
University in the Fine Arts Department. He was commissioned,
by the Chinese Ministry of Religion, to paint the history of
Buddha from a man to a god. This was a first such history of
its time. This project involved Wei and one other artist and
8 volunteer assistants. Over a period of 18 months they painted
more than 400 murals and paintings in a national chinese temple.
YAA was formed to oppose restrictive control by government.
Wei was one of the founders of the Young Artists Association
in China. He wanted to come to the west for freedom of expression,
but the Chinese government did not want any of its' good artists
to leave. They considered them national treasures.
After Tiananmen square, Wei took advantage of a window of
opportunity and he and his wife moved to New York. In 1989 he
was commissioned to do a one man show that depicted the events
of 1989 including:
- The Tiananmen Square event
- The Fall of the Berlin Wall
- Transformation of the Soviet Union
- Revolution in Poland
- Revolution in Romania
Since that time he has lived and painted murals and portraits
all over the United States and Canada.
In 2001, he was given International recognition, by the Portrait Society of America http://www.portraitsociety.org/conferencespast/2001/winners.htm, as one of the 10 most talented artists in the world. His painting of Israeli Prime Minister Shimon Peres won him the award. The work of more than 950 artists was considered in this competition. In addition, he has done portraits for several celebrities and sports figures. This list includes former First Lady Barbara Bush, Charlton Heston, Larry King, Wayne Gresky and several other celebrities and sports figures.