Chang Xiufeng 80 year-old Grandma Van Gogh
Chinese 80 year-old artist Chang Xiufeng, known as Grandma Van Gogh, is an ordinary illiterate woman from the village of Nanyang, Henan. She did not go to school, and was never taught painting. She discovered a talent for painting by accident, at the age of 70, after her husband’s death. On 2003 New Year’s Day she started living with her son, daughter and a granddaughter. By chance Chang Xiufeng became interested in painting after trying out her granddaughter’s crayons. Chang’s son posted her paintings “Grandma Van Gogh world” on the Internet – rural lotuses, sunflowers, old houses, animals, countryside, seasonal cycle of emotion and nostalgia. Chang Xiufeng quickly became popular, attracting a large number of fans – within just one month, her artwork had attracted over 80,000 viewers. She was immediately called “Van Gogh in rural China,” “Van Gogh grandmother.” Many newspapers and television stations in China, Singapore, Europe and the United States have reported about Grandma Van Gogh.
Her artworks were successfully exhibited in Hong Kong, receiving positive feedback. “I have never seen such a lovely lady.” “Grandma Van Gogh is showing art with heart, not with machines and pens”. Her daughter, an art editor, expands horizons of her old mother accompanying and showing her art galleries and exhibitions. She also arranged a studio for her mother on the balcony. Chang Xiufeng’s style of painting is almost identical with the picturesque works of Van Gogh. Many of her drawings have been acquired by foreign art collectors.
Once, during an interview on TV Chang Xiufeng said: “Sunflowers in the paintings of Van Gogh painted not better than mine. You can’t put them in a vase. After all the flowers are dying without soil and water.” Chang Xiufeng became the first person in China who dared to contradict the genius of Van Gogh.
Grandma Van Gogh was planning to publish a book entitled “The World of Grandma Van Gogh.” This edition was presented at the International Book Fair in Leipzig in 2010.
Living in Guangzhou with her son, Chang Xiufeng feels a little lost among the big city streets, so she prefers to paint at home. But when going out, she is surprised and confused when strangers recognize her as the Van Gogh Grandmother. This modest lady still can’t believe that her blog has obtained so many visitors.
sources www.china.org.cn, http://changxiufeng.m.oeeee.com/blog/list.aspx