Chen Yan Ning was born in Guangzhou in China. He studied at Guangdong Academy of Fine Art, graduating in 1965. He rapidly became one of China's leading artists. Reproductions of his paintings showing Chairman Mao leading the people were displayed throughout the country. In 1986 the artist moved to the United States of America and became an American citizen. He now paints portraits to commission, his sitters include the Nobel Peace prize winner, Aung San Suu Kyi and Her Majesty the Queen.