Karl was born as Bong Ka in Shanghai in 1935. He was formally trained by the master artists of Chinese painting and he also formally trained in the European painting tradition in France and Belgium. These multiple styles led to Karl Bang’s multi-cultural blending of the traditional Chinese artistic discipline with the more personally expressive European style, and later also included traditions from around the entire globe. This cross-cultural fusion of styles has earned him the title of “Master of Contemporary Eclecticism”.
During Mao Tse-tung’s Cultural Revolution in China, Karl was obligated to paint only the propaganda images the government demanded him to paint. However, in 1984 he was allowed to emigrate to the United States, where Karl was free to paint his one heart’s passion – beautiful women, goddesses, and the feminine archetype – from various races and cultures. This central theme to all of Karl Bang’s work is exquisitely developed and refined in each of his images. For Karl, painting women goes much deeper than their outer beauty. He sees women as epitomizing the gentler instincts of humankind – nurturing, gentility, truth, and inner strength.