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Benjamin Wu

"In the Valley"


"Preparation for the Dance"

"The College Student"

"Moon over the Valley"


"All Grown Up"


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Benjamin Wu

(Chinese b.1961)


     Benjamin Wu was born in a small village outside of Guangzhou, China in 1961 to a hard working family of very modest means.  His father envisioned for his children something beyond the every day life in rural China.  He wanted his son to go to the university and study science.   Benjamin had different thoughts, however, knowing at a young age that he wanted to be an artist.


     At age 16, he passed a tough exam that gained him admission to the Guangzhou Fine Art Institute.  He was 1 among 13 people selected for the oil painting class.  He spent seven years at the institute from 1978 to 1985, with his final year as a teacher.  He accredits a strict regimen at the beginning, forming the basis for his success in painting.  Composition was strongly stressed, with elements such as color and light coming later. 


     In 1986, Benjamin managed to make the cut into another prestigious art school, which brought him to America.  Settling in San Francisco, he tackled English classes on the side in addition to the curriculum at the Academy of Art College, earning a Masters of Fine Art degree in 1991.  Since then he has been working in commercial art, illustration and fine art.


     The figure and still life are strong themes in his painting.  Traveling back to China often, his paintings often depict rural villages and a life that is slowly disappearing.  He has been captivated with the western history of America, painting the cowboys on a cattle ranch that a friend owns in central California.  Benjamin is after the dramatic – the poetic- and he attempts to bring it to life at his easel, whether he is painting figures, landscapes or still life arrangements.   He reaches into his past formal training, and then reaches into himself to find the emotion, the details and the elements of storytelling before the art expression truly becomes his own. 


     Benjamin Wu’s exquisite paintings have won awards in exhibitions and competitions.  In 2006, he received the Merit Award for portrait and Figurative at the Asian Art Exhibition in Tokyo.  In 2007, he received another Merit Award for still life at the Salon International 2007 San Antonio, Texas.  Benjamin Wu also has three paintings selected as finalists in the International ARC Salon.    He is a member of Oil Painters of America



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