Local Chinese artist recognized for gift to Obama
By Ling-Mei Wong
Tianyuan Jiang, 75, has been an ardent supporter of President Barack Obama since 2006. He was so pleased about Obama’s election in 2008 that he immediately drew a traditional ink brush painting of a horse dedicated to the president after the results were announced.
After voting for his favorite president again in 2012, Jiang decided to paint another horse on a scroll, which he carefully rolled up and mailed to the White House. What he did not expect was a thank-you note signed by the president and First Lady Michelle Obama.
“It is gratifying to know that we have your support,” the note read. “As we work to address the great challenges of our time, we hope you will continue to stay active and involved.”
Jiang immigrated to Boston in 1992 from Guangdong and is proud to call himself an American. “I like that Obama is one of us, that he didn’t grow up with much,” he said. “He fights for our rights and benefits.”
“I wanted Obama to have a token of art from the Chinese community,” Jiang said. He is a self-taught artist of Chinese calligraphy and painting for more than 40 years. His works have been presented to Mass. Gov. Deval Patrick, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino and Quincy Mayor Thomas Koch.
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