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 Mian Situ  (1953 - )

About: Mian Situ
 

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Lived/Active: California / China      Known for: child figure, genre, and landscape painting

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BIOGRAPHY for Mian Situ
Facts/Data
Birth
1953 (Canton, China)
 
Lived/Active
California / China




Often Known For
child figure, genre, and landscape painting

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The California Art Club
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Winner of the Best of Show in 1995 at the Oil Painters of America, Mian Situ made his art debut in the United States at that time.  He is Chinese born and, having traveled extensively in that country, he creates impressionist paintings that focus on depicting the everyday life of the people he knows.

Situ studied at the Guangzhou Institute of Fine Arts where he had basic academic training.  However, during the Cultural Revolution in the mid 1980s, he was ordered to work as a film projectionist for propaganda films.  Later he returned to the Institute to graduate.

He wanted to study art in America and arrived in Los Angeles in 1987. He worked in a commercial gallery where he copied European paintings for 75 dollars per painting.

Source:
American Artist, February 2002

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Mian Situ, b. 1953, Canton, China

Born in Southern China, Mian Situ’s received his formal art training in his native homeland of Guangdong, formerly Canton. During his schooling, he experimented with various artistic styles such as impressionism, post-impressionism and expressionism. He was also deeply influenced by the 19th Century European Academic Realism that traveled to Russia and was eventually imported to China. His academic training is a result of western influences that were prevalent during the Cultural Revolution, and available only to talented young Chinese. After teaching at the institute for six years, Situ moved to Canada where he became a citizen and lived for ten years before reaching the United States.

Situ’s paintings clearly reflect his upbringing in the rural countryside of his native China. His deep-toned impressionistic paintings of the backcountry often focus on people going about their daily lives in their small villages and farming communities. Despite leaving China in 1987, the rural countryside life of his youth is one that is still deeply rooted within him. Situ’s paintings often combine elements of the young and old, which he sees as symbolic of the passage of time. He endeavors to capture the dignity and quiet beauty of the traditional way of life and dress that is eminently disappearing. Situ’s artistic versatility is also evident in his exquisite portraiture, as well as his more recent works inspired by western historical themes and American landscapes.

Education
• BFA, MFA, Guangzhou Institute of Fine Arts, China
Selected Group Exhibitions
• National Museum of Wildlife Art, Western Visions, Jackson, WY, 2014
• Trailside Galleries, East Meets West, Scottsdale, AZ, 2006-2014
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Los Angeles, CA, 2001-2014
Selected Publications
• Trailside Galleries, Mian Situ-Colors of the Shaoshu Minzu, April 2013
Selected Press
• Western Art Collector, March, 2013
• Southwest Art, May, 2012
• Art of the West, January/February 2011
• Western Art Collector, December, 2010
• Southwest Art, December, 2009
• Art of the West, May/June, 2007
• Fine Art Connoisseur, January, 2006
• American Art Collector, September, 2006
• Art of the West, April, 2005
• Western Art Collector, October, 2007
• Western Art & Architecture, Fall/Winter, 2008
Affiliations
• California Art Club-
• Oil Painters of America-Signature Member
Selected Collections
• Autry National Center, Los Angeles, CA
Awards
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Purchase Award, Los Angeles, CA, 2009
• Autry National Center, Gene Autry Memorial Award, Los Angeles, CA, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Patron’s Choice, Los Angeles, CA, 2006
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Thomas Moran Memorial, Los Angeles, CA, 2004
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Patron’s Choice, Los Angeles, CA, 2004
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Thomas Moran Memorial, Los Angeles, CA, 2003
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Artist’s Choice, Los Angeles, CA, 2003
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Patron’s Choice, Los Angeles, CA, 2003
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Thomas Moran Memorial, Los Angeles, CA, 2002
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Purchase Award, Los Angeles, CA, 2002
• Autry National Center, Masters of the American West, Patron’s Choice, Los Angeles, CA, 2002
• Oil Painters of America, Gold Medal 2000
• Oil Painters of America, Gold Medal, 1999
• Oil Painters of America, Best of Show, 1995
• Oil Painters of America, People’s Choice Award
• Carmel Art Festival, Best of Show, 2000
• California Art Club, Artist’s Choice Award
• Arts for the Parks, Top 100

Biography from Altermann Galleries & Auctioneers VI:
Mian Situ was born in the South of China and grew up during the Mao Cultural Revolution. The turmoil of the Mao regime inadvertently fostered a career that Situ could not have anticipated.

Unlike so many artists who know early on what they want to do, Situ showed no interest in art until he was 13, the year that ushered in the revolution. That interest was generated by a friend who was artistically talented. "I envied him and his ability to take a pen and draw whatever he wanted," Situ says. "The process amazed me and ultimately gave me a channel to release energy. I knew nothing about art, hadn't studied it or read any books but, when I watched my friend copy Mao's photograph, I was intrigued."

Although any references to Western ideas were forbidden by the Mao regime, Situ was able to get hold of an art book in an old library, and discovered the glories of the Italian Renaissance. Under the restrictions of the regime, Situ continued his art education, teaching himself and reading extensively.

After six years, he was able to begin formal studies at the Guangzhou Institute of Fine Art. Situ spent three years there, initially learning under the Russian approach to the study of art. Although many of the instructors had studied in Russia, "they couldn't teach Western ideas directly, so what they said wasn't necessarily what they meant."

After graduation, Situ was sent back to his home and assigned a job as an assistant projectionist at a cinema. He held that job for three years, painting murals on an outside wall. The revolution ended in 1976, and two years later, Situ returned to the institute for post-graduate work, completing his studies in 1981 and earning a Master's degree. Finally able to study Western ideas, Situ found himself longing to travel, although he taught at the institute for six years before he became too restless to continue.

In 1987, he moved to Los Angeles, California, where he studied English. He supported himself by copying works of old masters. Situ then moved to Calgary, Canada, and then Vancouver. There, he painted in Stanley Park to support himself before moving on to Toronto. Three years later, Situ returned to the United States, and entered a painting into the Oil Painters of America show. It won first price of $10,000, but more importantly, affirmed his credibility as a painter.

Now a known and acclaimed painter, Situ moved to San Dimas, California, eventually venturing into Western art. This move resulted in an invitation to participate in the 2001 Masters of the American West Show held by the Autry Museum in Los Angeles, California, a show at which he now exhibits regularly.

Reference: “Art of the West” July/August 2001

Biography from J Watson Fine Art:
Born in Southern China, Mian Situ received his formal art training in his native homeland of Guangdong, formerly Canton. He graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the prestigious Guangzhou Institute of Fine Art. After instructing for six years, he earned a Masters in Fine Art. Immigrating to Canada, then later moving to the United States, Mian’s paintings clearly reflect his upbringing in the rural countryside of his native China. His artistic diversification of subject matter, from the people of the small villages and farming communities going about their daily lives to the exquisite portraitures as well as his most recent works inspired by western historical themes and American landscapes, all reflect the sensitive dedication of this Master Artist.

Mian has been recognized with many national art awards. During the 2002 Masters of the American West exhibition and sale at the Autry National Center in Los Angeles California, Mian Situ received the Masters of the American West Museum Purchase Award, the Thomas Moran Memorial Award for Artistic Merit and the Patron’s Choice Award. In 2003, Mian was honored with the Thomas Moran Memorial Award, Artist’s Choice Award and Patron’s Choice Award. Most recently, in 2005, Mian was presented with the Artist’s Choice Award for his painting, The Word of God. He lives with his wife, Helen and daughter, Lisa in Southern California.

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