Wang Zhao is the nephew of the Last Emperor of China,
the great Pu Yi of the Qing Dynasty.
Under his parent’s tutelage; Wang Zhao became familiar with Chinese ink painting and in-line with royal tradition, he learned court painting from a young age.
Growing up in China during a turbulent period Wang Zhao became a victim of the Chinese Cultural Revolution and left China for Japan at the age of 32.
He studied under the Master Artist of Japanese painting, Mr.Ikuo Hirayama.
Today, Wang Zhao continues to create a “New Oriental Art”,
a unique fusion of vivid Japanese pigments and dynamic, watery, Chinese ink.
Wang Zhao was born in Beijing, China in 1950.
His father, Wanyan Ailan was the 27th descendent of the emperor for Jin Dynasty of China(1115-1234).
His mother, Pu Yunyu was the 6th younger sister to the last emperor of China
Pu Yi from Qing dynasty (1644-1912).
Many members of the royal family, at the time, engaged in art.
Wanyan Ailan and Pu Yunyu were both painters of Chinese traditional paintings and calligraphers.
Wang Zhao lived in a house full of ancient art work where he became familiar with Chinese ink painting as well as the court art of Qing dynasty.
At the age of 18, he enrolled in the Beijing Art Academy, the most prestigious school for art in China.
However, at the time, the Cultural Revolution (a huge political movement led by Chairman Mao Zedong) swept away Chinese students to the rural areas of China, and Wang Zhao was not an exception.
Coming from the royal family he was considered a bourgeois, and in 1969,
he was forced from Beijing into the poorest part of China to engage in hard labor.
For 10 years, Wang Zhao plowed farms and constructed railroads for the government.
The conditions were so harsh that everyone lived in caves,
and drank ethanol instead of liquor out of despair. But his passion for art did not diminish;
he did not have any tools to paint but he used the mud from the cave floors to draw on the earthen walls.
The animals he had drawn fascinated everyone and gave people hope to live.
He was not allowed to come back to Beijing until Premier Zhou Enlai’s wife, Deng Yingchao had given him special permission to do so. He was already 28.
In 1982, Wang Zhao travelled to Japan, in desperation of starting a new career and acquiring the freedom to create his own art. He enrolled into Tokyo University of the Arts where he studied Japanese painting, Nihonga, with Mr. Ikuo Hirayama.
Wang Zhao has given nearly 70 solo exhibitions throughout Japan, including France, China and German.
His paintings, Cranes and Mountain Fuji have been selected by UNICEFF three times,
to be the designs for their official greeting cards and were sold around the world.
He has organized two charity exhibitions for UNICEFF to help disadvantaged children.
Wang Zhao is now a Japanese citizen. He lives in Tokyo, Japan with his family.
His atelier is located at the foot of Mountain Fuji.