Mu Xin (1927-2011), born in Wuzhen, China, he enjoyed painting, writing, playing the piano, and composing music from a young age. He began writing poems at the age of 12, and when he was 16, he published his first essay in a local newspaper. In 1946, he was admitted into Shanghai Fine Art School, and in 1949, he became the president of Hangzhou Painting Studies Society.
In the early 1950s, he taught in a middle school in Shanghai and worked as an artistic crafts designer during the period between the mid-1950s and the early 1980s, Mu Xin also wrote 20 books secretly during his free time. The books were eventually confiscated during the beginning of the Cultural Revolution. He was imprisoned three times and wrote 66 pages of manuscripts behind bars called The Prison Notes.
In 1979, he was exonerated. He then served as Secretary General of the China Arts and Crafts Association before moving to New York in 1982. There, while continuing to paint, he picked up his pen again, after which more than 30 poetry and essay collections by the artist have been published on both sides of the Taiwan Strait. In 2001, his solo art exhibition was held at the Yale University Art Gallery and then went on tour to the David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago, Honolulu Academy of Arts and the Asia Society Museum in New York, with catalogues published at the same time.
Moved by an invitation from his hometown Mu Xin finally decided to settle down back home in Wuzhen in 2006. When the artist was presented with the design for his museum, Mu Xin simply expressed, “Wind, water and a bridge.” This simple yet powerful phrase fits the artist’s lifelong efforts to achieve convergence of Western and Eastern cultures and aesthetics. In 2011, after the artist passed away, the Wuzhen Tourism Co., Ltd began constructing the Mu Xin Art Museum in his honor.
Additionally, in 2011, An Empty Room, the first book by Mu Xin to appear in English, was published in the United States and received a four-star review. At the end of 2012, Literary Memoir was published based on five years of notes from Mu Xin’s lectures on world literature for Chinese artists in New York and won five annual book awards in Mainland China and Taiwan. Since 1984, more than 30 long-selling poetry and essay collections by Mu Xin have been published on both sides of the Taiwan Strait.