Master Yang - Chinese Painting Instructor | Seattle Central College - Continuing Education

Master Yang's Background

Hongduan Yang (known as Master Yang) was born into an artistic family, and gained recognition in China's art society by the time he was 17.

After graduating from Beijing University, Master Yang focused exclusively on his painting and became internationally renowned for his Chinese painting and calligraphy. He approaches his craft through hard work and a commitment to perfection.

Master Yang has taught Chinese Art in China and in the United States. Currently, he is a Consultant to the Senior Professors Association of Chinese Calligraphy and Painting, Beijing University; Honorary Chairman of the Central China Art Institute for Chinese Calligraphy and Painting; Consultant to Overseas Chinese Artists Association in Washington and Consultant to the Australia Art Institute for Research in Multi-elements Art.

Now, at the age of 89, he is still tirelessly dedicates himself to promote this art in an effort to encourage the cultural exchange between China and the Western world.


As Master Yang doesn't speak English fluently, he is joined by his interpreter and assistant, Dr. Koon-yui Poon, who is a State certified interpreter who is currently teaching an ESL course. He graduated from the University of Hong Kong, and taught high school (in English) for five years before coming to the United States to study for his graduate work. He has practiced calligraphy all of his life and is now learning to do Chinese painting under the guidance of Master Yang. He has taught both English and Chinese for many years, in both Hong Kong and in US.

Master Yang's Teaching Style & Approach

How do you present materials to your students?

Since this will likely be the first Chinese painting course for many of the students, they won't be familiar with the materials, and we'll spend some time focusing on that.

We'll explain brush techniques and tools in detail and how they work with the special paper used in Chinese painting which is very absorbent for painting in ink and color.

After discussing materials and techniques, we'll show examples of Chinese painting and the students will be taught to paint 4 subjects in the class -- including flowers and birds, which are one of the three categories of Chinese painting.

Students will be encouraged to continue painting at home and to bring their work to share in class.

We'll view and critique each student's work as a class so that everyone can learn from what was done well and what needs further work.

Our goal is that, by the end of the course, each student will be able to discern quality Chinese paintings and create beautiful works themselves.

How do you work with and interact with your students?

As we discuss student work, they'll be encouraged to watch and learn how to practice the techniques they are taught.

Through regular practice, they'll get comfortable using brushes, rice paper, ink, and water, and how to control all of these elements to produce Chinese paintings.

What kind of classroom dynamic do you promote?

Students will learn the best way of using brush strokes and how to control ink and water and color to create the most desired effects in Chinese painting.

With dedication and sustained interest, students should come out of the course as a decent amateur Chinese painting artist who knows how to distinguish good Chinese paintings from the bad ones.

Master Yang's Classes

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