Zhang, HongNian

Born in Nanjing, China, Zhang's artistic training began at age nine. As a top student in his mid-teens, the artist was accepted to the Central Art Academy Affiliated High School in Beijing. After graduation, however, the Cultural Revolution closed the schools. At this point, Zhang was sent with his class to do forced labor for four years in a remote countryside of China. He returned to Beijing in 1973, and became the youngest member of the Beijing Art Academy.
In 1985, Zhang came to America to continue his study in art and was represented by New York's Grand Central Gallery. He continued painting in the realism tradition and expanded his subjects from Tibetan to a wide range including Chinese and American historical paintings and contemporary American subject matter. He developed a passion for historical painting at an early age. Envisioning scenes of struggles beween the good and the bad, these works helped satisfy his romantice feeling for the distant past.
The National Geographic Society contacted Zhang to create historical paintins about China. Returning to his ancestral roots to create these works, Zhang introduced the glory of China's ancient civilization to the world. The artist incorporates his Asian spirit and many youthful dreams in his paintings today. His works are often complex scenes with dramatic movement and orchestration in a symphonic presentation of life.