Bilan Liao

Artist bio

BiLan Liao was born and raised in China. She and her family experienced much discrimination and many hardships under the dictator Mao Zedong. During this dark period, all the schools were closed, and books were destroyed, and she had to study in secret. She was blessed with a variety of artistic talents: painting, photography, fashion design, journalism, and teaching. While still in China, in 1999 she was granted U.S. permanent residency as an “Alien of Extraordinary Abilities.” At age forty-five, she realized her dream when she came to America.

Although she did not speak English when she arrived, within nine years she earned two master’s degrees in art (MA and MFA), studied art in Italy, and became an art college professor in Kentucky, where she built the BiLan Liao Gallery. She painted the story of five generations of her family and the tragedies and triumphs of their lives. She explores the relationships between her personal story, Chinese history, and fine art in Diary of the Dragon’s Daughter, as she describes her life during the worst holocaust in recorded human history. Despite the horrors she endured, including the deaths of her father, mother, and sister, she has a message of hope to share with people: even during difficult times, never give up your dreams.

She has been featured in these news programs: Morning Blend (ABC), WSIU (PBS), National Public Radio, Paducah Channel 6 and 2, Atlanta Chinese News, Women of Wealth magazine, PaducahSun newspaper, Paducah Life magazine, Georgia Magazine etc. She has shown many of her paintings in the book in museums and galleries, and she has lectured nationally and internationally. She is now retired so she can concentrate on her artwork, public speaking tours, museum events, a documentary, and a feature film.

Artist Gallery