Chiang Chao-Shen, stylized as Jiao Yuan, was born 1925 in She County, Anhui, at the foot of Huangshan Mountain. He showed brilliance and talent from a young age, meeting scholars with family members. From around the age of 10, he started carving seals, engraving monuments, copying text, and painting to help supply his family with money. His 'small seal' calligraphy also earned a lot of praise. In 1990, Chiang Chao-Shen suffered a sudden myocardial infarction while he was serving as deputy director of the National Palace Museum. The critical illness reminded him of the creative goals he had yet to fulfill, prompting his desire to move to the countryside.
Chiang Chao-Shen was a 20th century master of traditional landscape paintings, one who both carried the torch from the maestros of the past while also bringing the art form to new realms. What's more, he was also accomplished in other forms of artistic expression, such as poetry, calligraphy, painting, and printmaking. A model scholar who excelled at researching art history, he studied diligently every chance he had, at every stage of his life. He was steeped in traditional humanistic studies, which served him well in his landscape paintings. His vast base of knowledge and pioneering vision opened a new chapter for the stagnating ink wash medium.