Xiang Li worked as a professional reproduction and restoration artist at The Forbidden City of Beijing, China for over 37 years.
The Forbidden City is the world’s largest palace that is famous for its art, architecture and royal history.
Li grew up in an artistic family in Beijing. She discovered her interest in art at a very young age. Dong Shouping (董寿平), a very famous painter, was her childhood art teacher.
After graduating from middle school, Li joined a cultural troop and worked on artistic design. During this period, she was rewarded several times for her excellent work. She was transferred to the Beijing Forbidden City in 1974, specializing in reproduction of ancient Chinese paintings.
In the past 20 years, many experts have spoken highly of Li’s artworks in the styles of the last five dynasties. Many of her works were in exhibitions in China and around the world. Li was promoted as the chairman of the Renovation Department of Ancient Arts in 1982 (reported on Guang Ming Daily 光明日报). Shortly after, Li became a consultant to the Great Wall Art Association, an organization dedicated to the ancient novel “The Dream of Red Chamber － 红楼梦”.
From 1975 to 1985, Li successfully completed paintings all 414 characters of “The Dream of Red Chamber”, and she is also known as the first person who ever completed this collection of artworks. Li appeared many times on the radio and on television, as well as in magazine and newspaper articles. She was named one of the “20 Most Talented People of China”. The Beijing Radio Station also made a special program dedicated to Li’s outstanding artistic talent.
Recognized by the State, Li decided to donate the entire collection of “The Dream of Red Chamber” paintings to the Grand View Garden （大观园） in Beijing. Li’s artworks attract visitors from around the world every day.
1. Awarded one of the “20 Most Talented People of China” (成功者的足迹), 1986
2. Artworks presented at “The Qin Emperor’s 60-year Anniversary” art exhibition. Thailand, 1987
3. Artworks presented at “The Chinese Cultural Art Exhibition”. Singapore, 1988
4. Artworks presented at “The Chinese Cultural Art Exhibition”. Spain, 1988
5. Presenter at the 4th World Women Conference on “The Glamour of Asian Women in Chinese Arts”
6. Personal art exhibition in Taiwan
7. Artworks were exhibited in national art museums in the US, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Spain and many other countries.