The first Chinese student graduates from The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts

Image: Princes School of Traditional Arts’ first Chinese national graduate Yunfeng Cong, with President Xi, Peng Liyuan and The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall.

The graduation of the first Chinese national from, The Prince’s School of Traditional Art, an academic institution that specialises in teaching, researching and promoting the arts and crafts of the world’s great traditions, will be appropriately celebrated with a dram of SPEY Royal Choice single malt whisky.

Yunfeng Cong will be the first Chinese national to graduate from the prestigious London-based The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA), having been supported in his studies by SPEY from Speyside Distillery.

The landmark occasion has been made possible through a collaboration between the luxury malt whisky firm and the postgraduate education institution which was founded by its President, The Prince of Wales. The whisky brand has a strong presence in Asia, particularly Greater China, and its partnership with PSTA seeks to promote a wider appreciation of traditional arts.

Yunfeng (26) was born and brought up in Heilongjiang Province, China, and completed his Bachelor’s degree on mural painting in Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing.

He participated in a traditional Chinese mural painting project and worked with a gallery, taking part in some exhibitions and an art fair before gaining his scholarship and moving to the UK to study at The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts (PSTA).

He is now looking forward to creating more art works in preparation for his first solo exhibition and values the opportunities that his SPEY scholarship has opened up to him.

He says, “I appreciate what SPEY has done for me, and I hope more students can be sponsored by SPEY to study at PSTA. Artists need to look at the world in a new perspective and have different experiences, and the sponsorship from SPEY provides artists with these opportunities.

“I learned a lot during my time at PSTA, both practical and theoretical. But the most important part of my study at PSTA is that it gives me an opportunity to understand different cultural traditions, which helps me to understand the universal principle of all the traditional arts. I always want to find a timeless and universal practical language to make art works, and my experience at PSTA has brought me much closer to this goal.”

The Prince’s School of Traditional Arts specialises in the arts and crafts of the world’s great traditions.  At its core is a pioneering postgraduate programme which combines the teaching of the practical skills of the traditional arts and crafts with an understanding of the philosophy inherent within them.  Students join the School from around the world to undertake research at the highest level with post-graduate degrees validated by the University of Wales.

Yunfeng met Chinese President Xi Jingeng and The Prince of Wales when PTSA students’ work was showcased during the President’s state visit to Britain last year. Earlier this year Yunfeng was one of five students whose work featured in the PSTA International Exhibition held in Taiwan. He is also exhibiting his work alongside his fellow students at the Degree Show.

John Harvey McDonough, CEO of Speyside Distillery, adds, “Yunfeng is an accomplished painter and has produced work of excellent quality whilst at the school and we are extremely proud of his achievements.

“We look forward to celebrating the graduation of PSTA’s first mainland China exchange student and to being able to toast Yunfeng’s achievements with a fine dram of SPEY single malt whisky.