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Cheng Haw Chien was born in 1948 in Penang, Malaysia. He began learning Chinese brush painting and western art forms enthusiastically when he was an adolescent. His interest was furthered after his secondary school education when he continued his academic studies in Taiwan and Hong Kong. There, he sought to refine his artistic skills under the guidance of many eminent masters.
After his graduation from the university in 1974, he toured South East Asia and European countries holding solo exhibitions which received very positive press reports especially on his master pieces such as "Bridge Over the River Kwai" and "Tour to the Kingdom of Buddda''. His other exhibitions in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and Europe: The Exhibition on Europe Tour: "Scene of Cambridge" and"Winter in Paris" also received similar positive reviews.
In 1978, he taught in a secondary school as an art co-ordinator.
In 1981, he again embarked on a world tour covering Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific island nations, central and Southern America, the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, lndia, Nepal, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, the Philippines and other countries.
He photographed and sketched the myriad landscape and scenery of these countries to be shown in over 130 solo exhibitions.
His travel experience and study tours also resulted in articles on travel and art review columns in local newspapers.
Cheng Haw Chien was appointed the principal of Central Academy of Art, Kuala Lumpur in 1983.
He was also involved in other art sectors and had been appointed as an art appraisal committee member of the National Art Gallery, Malaysia.
In 1985, at the invitation of the National Art Gallery, Taiwan, he led a group of Malaysian artists for an exhibition there.
In 1989, he was invited to participate in a joint exhibition "Calligraphy in Asia" at The Palace Museum, Beijing.
His other posts are the vice chairman of the International Calligraphy Association; Chairman of International Calligraphy Association, Malaysia; Chairman of the Malaysian Painting Calligraphy Association and chairman of International Chinese Brush Painting Seminar & Exhibition in Kuala Lurnpur, 1994.
In 1992, he held a solo exhibition at The National China Art Gallery in Beijing at the joint-invitation of Chinese Artists Association, Acadamy of Traditional Chinese Painting, Beijing Painting Institute, and Xu Beihong Memorial Hall.
In 1995, Cheng Haw Chen became the Director of Metropolitan Gallery of Fine Arts, Kuala Lumpur and was subsequently invited to hold a solo exhibition at Liaoning Provincial Museum, China, followed by an invitation to Lu Xun Academy of Fine Arts to conduct a seminar.
In 1996 at the invitation of China Artist Association, China, he led a Malaysian artist delegation to Beijing, Shanghai, Hangchow, Nanjing and held "Malaysian Art Exhihition" in the National China Art Gallery in Beijing, China.
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