Born on 11th November 1947, in Jinhua, Zhejiang province, China, Ai Xuan is the son of modern Chinese poet Ai Qing.
Ai Xuan graduated from the Beijing Central Academy of Fine Arts Preparatory School in 1967. Among all schools of art, Ai Xuan has a special penchant for Realism. In 2004, he co-founded the “Beijing School of Realism” with Wang Yidong and Yang Feiyun, which was later renamed as the “China School of Realism”. With the vision of uniting the country’s Realism artists, they hold regular exhibitions every year and receive wide recognition among the circle, making them them one of the most influential art groups in China.
In 1973, Ai Xuan was assigned the duty of painter for the troops in Chengdu. During his stay there he discovered the Tibet Plateau. He started to create the Tibetan series in the 1980s. His Tibetan themed realistic art was inspired by the leading figure of American Realism, Mr. Andrew Wyeth. Ai Xuan depicted the nature and the Tibetan people with an intense emotion, to express insignificance of humanity in comparison to the magnitude of nature.
Ai Xuan’s works have been given wide acclaim in both the East and the West. Ai Xuan received an honor award at the International Festival of Fine Arts in France in 1986. During his exhibition in America in 1987, his work That Autumn and Stranger received high accolades from Mrs. Nancy Reagan, wife of President Ronald Reagan. In 1988, he met his inspiration Andrew Wyeth in America and had a deep discussion and exploration on art with him. In the same year, his oil painting Lonely Marsh was auctioned (together with the works of Pablo Picasso and Rauschenberg) by Sotheby’s at a charitable auction to raise funding for the restoration of the Great Wall and Venice. In 1999, Ai Xuan was included as one of the representative artists in Chinese Art in Professor M. Solomon’s Art of China no.4, an official teaching material for Yale University.
In 2013, Kwai Fung Hin Art Gallery held a duo exhibition for Ai Xuan - Colours from Ink, Ai Xuan’s First Ink on Paper Exhibition at the gallery and Important Oil Paintings of Ai Xuan at the Fine Art Asia 2013. There were extensive media coverage for the exhibition, including a full-page review at the Wall Street Journal in America.
In 2015, Ai Xuan was awarded “Chevalier Medal for Oriental Art” by the Belgian Federal Parliament for his contribution to the cultural exchange of the East and the West. In the same year, he was awarded “European Art Star” by the European Parliament. His works are widely collected by important museums and art collectors, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, National Art Museum of China in Beijing, and the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum in Japan.