I was born in Taiyuan in northern China in 1967,
during the Cultural Revolution, and named Ge,
As a child I loved to draw. I soon became interested
in photography and lacking a darkroom, I managed
to print photos in the darkness under my bed.
At 16 I went to Xiamen College of Arts and Crafts in
southern China to study traditional Chinese
painting. I learnt how to balance the empty spaces
and the subjects in my paintings and how to paint
the elegant lines of bamboo.
At 19 I decided to cycle back home from Xiamen to
Taiyuan. I cycled the length of China on a traditional
bicycle with no gears. It was a long, hard journey,
trudging and cycling over the mountains for a
month. The experience taught me that even very
difficult tasks can be achieved by taking one step at
a time - you simply need to be bold enough to
believe in your initial idea.
This new understanding helped me to graduate top
of my class, and soon afterwards several of my
works won awards in the first 'All-China Genre
Painting Exhibition'. These works were then
acquired for the Chinese national collection and
exhibited in the Chinese National Arts and Crafts
Museum in Beijing.
In 1989 I moved to England. As I hardly spoke a word
of English, the only way for me to earn a living was
to sell art. I sold small works in craft markets, and
soon began to have solo exhibitions all over the UK.
Alongside the exhibitions I taught art workshops.
I have now lived half of my life in China and half in
England, and I like to think that my art is a fusion of
the best of both East and West.