Shang Ding Biography

"Shang Ding was born in 1954 in Kunming, China, the youngest of six children.  His father was a journalist and his mother a union leader.  During the Cultural Revolution in the late 60's many journalists were imprisoned.  Shang Ding was fourteen when his parents were arrested.  They were held for three years.
  At seventeen he joined the army where at night he would work at his painting under the sheets, using a flashlight.  In 1974, Shang Ding entered a show in Beijing where Chairman Mao's wife noticed his work and was greatly impressed that such talent could come from a 20-year old youth.  She talked incessantly about Shang Ding, drawing enormous attention to his work.  Professors from the Central Art Academy were equally impressed, and he began his path to fame in China.  In 1984, Shang Ding met American Sculptor, Chapel, who was in China to lecture on American bronze sculpture.  The two men began a friendship that would change Shang Ding's life.  In 1988, the artist came to the United States to begin a new career, leaving his wife and young daughter behind.  His first home in the U.S. was in Colorado at Chapel's vast ranch.  He then lived in Wyoming and New York, ultimately settling in Southern California once his wife and daughter were permitted to leave China." NOTE: Please read the wonderful article on Shang Ding in the new issue of Southwest Art Magazine (November 2001)