Born in Sichuan, China. Yuan graduated from Department of Fine Arts, National Taiwan Normal University in 1962, majored in Chinese Painting. As her teachers are Chinese Painting maters Pu Xinyu and Huang Yun-bi, Yuan’s skill was well trained. In 1966, Yuan received her M.A. degree from Department of Archaeology and Fine Art History, Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium. From 1965 to 1968 she was at the Royal Institute for the Preservation of Cultural Artifacts for doctoral studies. From 1983 to 2001, she was the Researcher and Director of Department of Conservation at National Palace Museum, Taipei. Major solo exhibitions: 1993, “Yuan Jai 1993”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; 1995, “Yuan Jai 1993-95”, National Museum of History, Taipei; 1997, “Yuan Jai 1995-97”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; 2000, “Paintings by Yuan Jai” Hanart TZ Gallery, Hong Kong, “Exhibition of Modern Green-and-Blue Landscape Painting by Yuan Jai”, He Xiangnina Art Gallery, Shenzhen, China; 2006, “Yuan Jai 2006” Eslite Gallery, Taipei. Selected group exhibitions: 1998, “Inside Out: New Chinese Art”, Asia Society Gallery, New York, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; 1999, “Visions of Pluralism-Contemporary Art in Taiwan 1988-1999”, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, “Nouveaux Reflets de la Terre Natale-Six Peintres de Taiwan”, Centre Culturel et d’Information de Taipei, Paris; 2000, “L’Art dans le Monde”, Museé des Beaux-Arts de la Ville de Paris, Paris; 2001, “China Without Borders”, Sotheby’s, New York; 2003, “Highlights from the Permanent Collection”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei; 2004, “The Yellow Box: Contemporary Calligraphy and Painting in Taiwan”, Taipei Fine Arts Museum, Taipei, “Taipei MOMA Online”, Taipei MOMA Gallery, Taipei, “Lee Mingwei’s through Masters’ Eyes”, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; 2006, “Art in Motion”, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Shanghai, “Revival: New Ink Art Shanghai 2006”, Shanghai Duolon Museum of Modern Art, Shanghai, “Entry Gate: Chinese Aesthetics of Heterogeneity”, Museum of Contemporary Art Shanghai, Shanghai.
The geometrical mountains under Yuan Jai’s paintbrush were influenced by western concept. With the idea of abstract painting, she creates extraordinary landscape by combining different sceneries whether they are imaginary or realistic. Her use of colors is unconventional, vibrant and bright. The remote mountains and landscapes in traditional Chinese paintings are transformed into her unique style.