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Wei Dong.
Wei Dong.

Wei Dong dreamed of showcasing his work in the United States.

“I was like many aspiring Chinese artists in my generation, and I dreamed that I would be recognized and exhibit in America,” he said.

In a time when fewer than 1 percent of students were accepted into college in China, Dong attended TsingHua University in Beijing, formerly the Central Academy of Arts and Design, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in arts and interior design.

“I was very lucky,” he said. “This was the opportunity to follow my passion.”

China had just opened its doors to the world in the mid-1980s when Dong was ready to attend graduate school, allowing him to apply to colleges in the U.S. Through the strength of his portfolio, he received acceptance letters from many universities, but chose Virginia Commonwealth University because of its location and the personal outreach he received from his future VCU School of the Arts professor Ringo Yung.

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