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Donna Zhang

(1958)

Donna was born in the Jilin Province of China in 1958. Looking back on her childhood, she recalls giving expression to her friend's wishes for new shoes or toys by sketching them on paper. She went on to study art for 13 years, achieving mastery in the techniques of etching. Donna became an art educator, receiving her training in China in the 1980's. She later continued her studies at Japan's Saitama University in the 1990's where she obtained a Master of Arts Degree.

In 1999 Donna accompanied a small group to a remote region of Tibet on an environmental mission to preserve habitat for endangered species. It became a pivotal event as she was struck by the strength, dignity and openness of the indigenous Tibetan people. Touched by their character and depth of the experience, she found that she was drawn back to Tibet on two subsequent trips in 2001 and 2002. Her experience and relationship with the people of Tibet have become the inspiration for Donna's current work. Her portraits reflect the profound beauty and resilience she sees in the faces of her subjects. As Donna says simply, "Their clothes are not clean, but their hearts are pure."