Three years ago, a 73-year-old illiterate woman named Chang
Xiufeng began to paint and soon garnered the nickname "Van Gogh
Grandmother." This talented elderly woman is now preparing to
publish books of her artwork.
During her life in the countryside, Chang Xiufeng never learned
to write, let alone paint. By chance she became interested in
painting after trying out her granddaughter's crayons. Chang's son
was amazed by his mother's talent and posted her paintings on the
Within just one month, Chang's artwork had attracted over 80,000
Chang's post-impressionistic painting style earned her the
nickname "Van Gogh Grandmother," though Chang only learnt late on
that Van Gogh was a famous Dutch artist, and that his painting
Sunflower was sold at auction for an amazingly-high
Now living in Guangzhou with her son, Chang is a little lost
among the big city streets, so she mostly stays at home to paint.
Once in a while when going out, she is surprised and confused when
strangers recognize her as the Van Gogh Grandmother.
This modest lady also doesn't believe that her blog has obtained
so many visitors, as she quipped, "I think only 40 people maximum
read my blog."
Now watercolor pens and crayons are this grandmother's best
friends. Her prolific workrate has seen her paint over 100 pieces
of artwork in three years. Famous France-based photographer Klavdij
Sluban even obtained Chang's Guava Tree, and said, "Just
like me -- Chang and I both are showing art with heart, not with
machines and pens."
(CRI.com November 28, 2006)