Ching ho Cheng has the distinction of being the first contemporary Chinese-American artist to be recognized in America, says Ronald Kuchta, former Everson Museum director. Ching ho was born in Havana, Cuba in 1946 and arrived in New York when he was five years old as a Naturalized Citizen. His father, Paifong Cheng, was a diplomat representing the Republic of China until Mao Tse-tung converted China to communism. His great aunt was Madame Wei Tao Ming aka Soumay Cheng, the first female lawyer and judge in Chinese History.
During the 1960’s, Ching, as he came to be known, lived in Greenwich Village while he studied painting at Cooper Union. He took his BFA and moved to the new artist colony called “SoHo” where he created several of his “psychedelic” works. Last year, the gouache painting, “Angelhead,” was exhibited at the Whitney Museum of Art in its “Sinister POP” show. Ching’s last home was the Chelsea Hotel, the subject matter for a substantial body of his paintings, “Waterfall, Chelsea Hotel, NY” resides in the permanent collection of the Cleveland Museum of Art, “Light Bulb Triptych” a painting that depicts his studio is at the Hirschhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.
Ching would be very pleased with the current state of contemporary Asian art in America.