Kwan began his sculpture education in the leading school of sculpture in China in 1973. Selected by the leading sculptor of the country as one of only eight students admitted that year, Kwan spent thousands of hours during the next four years studying and sculpting...often nine to ten hours a day...from live models.
On graduation, he was selected as an instructor
in the art school until he was again chosen in 1978 as one of two students
the Chinese National Sculptor, Pan Ho, selected as a master's student.
During the following three years in a personal master's program, Kwan
became a professor in the Art Institute of Canton, a colleague and protégé
of Pan Ho, and a leading sculptor in southern China.
While still a master's student, Kwan was selected in a competition of over one hundred artists to design and produce a national memorial for the Chinese Civil War of 1919. The wall he produced of over 135 larger-than-life-size figures, 100 ft long and 20 ft tall, propelled him onto the national scene and established him as a leading sculptor in the country.
During the 1980s, Kwan produced many public
sculptures throughout China, often designing and managing several major
projects at once. As the protégé of Pan Ho, Kwan was being
groomed to eventually assume his role. As part of this, in December 1988
Kwan was sent to the United States as a delegate to the International
Sculpture Association Conference in Washington, D.C. and a visiting professor
of sculpture. The intent was to broaden his experience and expose him
to the Western art and culture.
The next several years required him to rebuild his life and career from scratch. In the process, he decided to stay in the United States. He was able to bring his wife and son to join him, and they eventually become U.S. citizens.
The early years were very difficult, but Kwan's unusual ability was soon noticed, and he began receiving significant commissions. The "Bill of Rights", a 14 ft bronze monument at the Federal Courthouse in Kansas City, a nine-foot statue of Forrest "Phog" Allen at Kansas University, and the wonderful life-sized horse at Iron Horse Golf Course were early projects.
In 1999, A bronze model of his work, "Lewis the Naturalist", in honor of the botanical work of the Lewis and Clark expedition, has been on display in the White House and the Smithsonian. In 2000 and , he was selected in a national competition for the life-sized "George Brett" sculpture at Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City and as the artist for the "Children of the Trails" memorial in the Johnson County Courthouse Square in Olathe, Kansas. After that, more and more works have been born from his hand and are displaying his talent and soul all around the US.
July 2007, Kwan held his first personal one-man sculptures exhibition in National Arts Museum, China. The next month, the "Kwan Wu Sculpture Exhibition Hall", which is over 9000 square feet, was setup in Shan Xi , China. He finished the first "Chinese Traditional Beauty Series", the amazing 17 pieces of small works. Now he is working on more projects for city development in China as well as in US.
The beauty and uniqueness of Kwan's designs and the exquisite quality of his work is quickly becoming recognized and sought. Possibly the greatest feature of his work, apart from his ability to breathe life into clay and bronze, is the breadth and capacity of his talent. Where often today's artists have 'specialties' or 'types', Kwan brings equal power to figure, wildlife, and animal; stylized, representational, or abstract across every scale from miniature to monumental. This range and quality sets him apart among the finest sculptors of our day.
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