Chi Pai-Shih (1864-1957)
Chi Pai-Shih, also known as Chi Huang or Chi Weiqing, was born in 1863 in Xiangtan County, Hunan Province. He was a woodcarver in his early youth, and taught himself painting, poetry, calligraphy and seal carving in his spare time. Beginning from 1902 in severn years, he left home five times to wander around many famous mountains, lakes and rivers throughout the country and painted numerous landscapes
He lived by his painting and calligraphy since 1918 in Peking. Most of the subjects he painted were flowers, birds, insects and fish. In 1928 he began to sign his name on the paintings as Pai-Shih means literally "White Stone," which implies "Snow Mountains"). He said, at one time, "I learned finger-painting in my youth; landscape painting after 30; and specialized in flowers, insects and birds after 40." After that , he resolved to paint "all the insects and birds in the whole world." During his lifetime he had painted countless number of flowers and birds. He changed his painting styles several times before settling down finally to create his own unique style.
In 1952 he was appointed Honorary Professor of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing. In 1953 the Ministry of Culture of the People's Republic of China conferred on him the honorable title of "People's Artist." He was elected President of the Chinese Artists' Association at the Second National Congress of Writers and Artists. In 1954 he was a deputy of the First National People's Congress. In 1955 he was awarded the World Peace Prize by the World Peace Council.