Steele Xiang Biography

Steele Xiang was born in 1947 in Beijing, China.  At the age of five he was considered a prodigy and was admitted to the Royal Children's Palace Art School where, at the age of six, he won first place in the Beijing Children's Drawing competition.  At he age of fifteen he was accepted to a nine year program at the Central Institute of Fine Arts in Beijing.  This is considered the most prestigious program in Asia whose instructors were trained in Europe and Russia.  Only a dozen are admitted from the thousands of yearly applicants.  By the age of twenty he began receiving portrait commissions from government dignitaries, politicians and other famous people.  Among those whom he painted were the Prime Minister of China, numerous Central Committee members as well as several portraits of Mao Tse Tung and his wife Jiang Ching. 

From 1973 until 1982 Mr. Xiang held a teaching position at the Shanghai Teacher's University.  In 1982 he became the Fine Arts Director and Editor of the Fine Arts Division of the Shanghai Publishing Co.  In 1986 he was asked by Shanghai University to head the art program and to be the chief professor of the College of Fine Arts.

in 1988 Steele Xiang immigrated to the United States in the middle of great social change and political turmoil over democracy, less than a year before Tiananmen Square became internationally famous.