A self-described "people painter", Zhang Wen Xin knows firsthand the sacrifices and indignities wrought by social strife and political upheaval as well as the suffering that people often endure.
He remembers well how Japanese troops invaded Tienjing and Beijing in 1937, and the food shortages that forced his family to move to Manchuria. He remembers the fighting between Japanese and Russian forces in 1945 and the Communists' victory over the Nationalists in 1949, the same year he graduated from Northern China University with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in oil painting.
A profile in Southwest Art, noted Wen Xin was almost forced to abandon his art on three separate occasions because of the political unrest in his native country. "Yet each time he took it up again, without assurance that he could support himself and his family," the article noted.