by Ah Cheng
Ah Cheng, born in Beijing in 1949, is the pen name of Zhong Acheng. An accomplished fiction writer, painter, and screenwriter (for internationally renowned Taiwanese director, Hou Xiaoxian), Ah Cheng spent the Cultural Revolution years in a small village in Inner Mongolia where he painted the sheep and grasslands, and on a State Farm bordering Yunnan province and Laos. During the 1980s he came to prominence as a member of the “primitive” or “seeking roots” literary movement. He has lived in several countries including the US, often not writing for long periods and working various jobs such as fixing bicycles and house painting. In 1992 he received the Italian Nonino International Prize for his literary achievements, which includes a travel journal, Venetian Diary. He lives in the outskirts of Beijing.