Zhiwei Tu was born in Northern Guangdong Province of China in 1951, the son of peasant parents. As a young artist he received considerable regional fame from his artistic exposure, and soon other artists, teachers and museums directors traveled from great distances to see his work and watch him paint.
In 1972 Tu was invited to study at China’s famous Guangzhou Institute of Fine Arts. After many hard-working years, Tu was doing paintings that were welcomed with open arms by the public. He became a member of Guangdong Artists Association and of Guangdong Oil Painters Association.
In 1981 Tu was promoted to professorship of fine arts at Guangzhou Institute.
Of him it was written: “ Tu’s work is uniquely his own. He finds a special way, which belongs only to him. He flies freely with full wings in the blue sky of art. Tu’s paintings are simple in character. No cleverness, fashionable tricks, nor superficiality appear in his work, he has opened up a special feeling in art which belongs only to him”
In 1987 Tu came to the United States to enter Drake University in Des Moines, Iowa, to further his education and career. He had applied to four other universities and had been offered three-year scholarships at each.
He has won numerous National and International awards including the Oil Painters of America Best of Show.
Mr. Tu’s own words: “ I have been given a gift by some power, and I am deeply thankful for it. With this gift I am able to put on canvas my passion and vision, to create these paintings. When very young, I used to look at my hands in wonderment and try to understand how beauty could come forth from them. I still have that feeling today every time I put a brush to a canvas.
Sharing his life are his wife Danni and son Danlang, both of whom joined him in America in July 1988.
His most recent achievement is to be given the Presidency of Oil Painters of America.