Gallery Judy Engelstad


Master of Light

History of a Living Legend: Pan

Pan has been immersed in fine art all of his life. For generations, his family has been renowned in China for artistic talent. At the age of five Pan's grandfather, Bo yin Pan, famous for calligraphy and poetry, gave him his first lessons in drawing and painting techniques. Bo Yin Pan‚s work has been included in Chairman Mao‚s personal collections and has been displayed as the highest standard of excellence in Chinese Art and literature. Today, calligraphy works by Bo Yin Pan are occasionally found at auction houses including Christie's in Hong Kong, New York and Singapore.

Ironically, in spite of his close relationship with formal Chinese traditions in art, Pan fell deeply in love with the paintings of the Renaissance and French Impressionist periods. By age 13 the artist‚s works had been featured in a One-man show, and Stephen Pan won the first of a series of National Art Excellence awards in China for his beautifully rendered oil paintings.

Born in Shanghai in 1963, Pan entered Chinese society at the height of the Red Guard‚s power; the destruction of all thing not purely Chinese was in full force. Even after the Red Guard was disbanded, it was years before China opened it‚s doors to welcome outside cultural influences. Pan began his teaching career in Shanghai at age 20 and found his young students were eager to study art from him. When he as only 22 years old his oil painting Red Cross was acquired by Beijing Central Art Museum, a singular honor for a Chinese artist.

That same year, Pan got into trouble when he and a fellow artist began a painting of a nude female figure from a live model. He answered a knock at the door of the studio, it was the police. Both artists were questioned and their drawings confiscated. The detailed accuracy of Pan‚s drawings were „proof‰ that the nude model was a prostitute; his friend was forced to confess and was sent to jail for four years for illicit conduct. Pan vowed he would leave China and devote his life to drawing and painting anew. His uncle sponsored his immigration to the United states to continue his artistic career.

In 1997, Pan was offered a position at the academy of Art College in San Francisco. His mastery of the figure and use of light in creating subtle textures and expressions served him well. His students voted him Best Teacher in the Fine Art Department. He was invited broaden his influence with more classes, but declined to devote himself to full-time oil painting.

Pan is an extremely versatile artist n the classic European oil painting tradition. His singular artistic expression is easily recognized in his sublimely elegant and serene paintings. Since 1987 he has focused primarily on original figurative oil paintings on canvas. In order to make his work available to the greater audience, Pan has begun to explore publishing and documenting his masterpieces.

Pan's paintings are included in the collections of art lovers all over the world-including Harry and Margot de Wilt of San Francisco and international celebrities Marcel Marceau, master of mime, and Sylvester Stallone. Actor. Ambassadors, royal families from Paris and Athens to Johannesburg South Africa has become collectors, as well.

~Tan Genxiong, Professor of School of Art
East China Normal University
15 June, 2006

1963 Shanghai, China
Shanghai Cultural Center, Shanghai China
Academy of Art San Francisco CA
Art& Antiques September 2000
Where- San Francisco February 2001
Gentry- March 2001
International Art Magazine October/November 2006
call for list (numerous) printed in his published book
see published book or contact Galerie Judith Engelstad for list
Selected Collectors:
Empress Murals, Victoria, B.C. Canada
Mr. Chuck Connors “Rifleman” Los Angles CA
Mr Sylvester Stallone “Rocky” Los Angeles
Mr. Marcel Marceau Paris France
Stanford University, Palo Alto CA
Gateway 200, Johannesburg South Africa
Mayor Willie Brown San Francisco CA
More in published book

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