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 Yeh-Jau James Liu  (1910 - 2003)

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Lived/Active: California / China      Known for: Oriental motif watercolors

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Yeh-Jau (James) Liu
An example of work by Yeh-Jau James Liu
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
James Yeh-Jau (Jimmy) Liu, known as the "Artist Laureate" of Tiburon, California, was born in Hunan Province in China in 1910.  As a college student he played basketball at the National Art Institute.  He later rose to the rank of Colonel in the Chinese Army during World War II.  When the Japanese invaded his native Hunan, he fled on horseback ahead of the invaders, and led a scorched earth campaign.  After the war he was recruited by Chiang Kai-shek to join four Generals in a tour of Europe, and the United States to help determine the best way to rebuild China after the war.  He became a government official in Hunan province.  In 1949 he was forced to flee to Taiwan when the Communists took over.

Liu graduated from the National Academy of Fine Arts, Hangchow, China, in 1935.
He served a period of time as Professor of Painting at the National Taiwan Academy of Arts.  In 1962, Mr. Liu was invited to teach, as a Professor, Chinese Watercolor techniques at San Francisco State University.

After retiring at the age of 65, a benefactor set him up with studio space in Tiburon, California.  He then opened the Han Syi Studio on Main Street.  He operated that studio and sold his paintings in that community until his death on July 24, 2003.  He was killed in an auto accident on the way to his studio one morning at the age of 93.

Mr. Liu was very active in Tiburon community affairs and was known by nearly everyone in that community (hence the "Artist Laureate" designation bestowed on him by that city's government officials).  His works are in public and private collections nationwide, and in China. His works are in the permanent collections of the National Historical Museum of Taiwan, China, and the Fine Arts Gallery in San Diego (now the San Diego Museum of Art).

Written and submitted, July 2004, by Gary Stanley/ArtSanDiego


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