. Wei Yang on Chinese Art


Dr. Wei Yang discusses connoisseurship and valuation of Chinese art from the perspective of a trained Chinese art historian (Ph.D. in Chinese art) and a practicing Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) in Asian Art and Appraisal Review and Management (ARM).

Dr. Yang has been serving as Chinese art expert witness, expert consultant, expert appraiser, appraisal reviewer for litigation since 2015.

My Goals

This website is designed for Chinese art connoisseurs and collectors, appraisers and professionals, students and teachers who wish to develop expertise in Chinese art. In my career as an educator and for the past eighteen years as an appraiser and Chinese art expert witness, I have often been asked how to appreciate Chinese art and aesthetics and how to develop competence in appraising Chinese art.

I plan to write four books on Chinese art to demonstrate by examples how to evaluate Chinese fine arts (Part I and Part II), ceramics and jade. My books are intended to educate readers about the essentials of Chinese art, introduce key Chinese artists and masterworks, and provide practical advice for developing expertise in appraising Chinese art. All the books offer the basics of Chinese art, introduce aesthetics and standards of judgment, and provide practical advice on appraisal practice.

My first book on premodern Chinese painting and calligraphy prior to 1911 (Part I: Vols 1-2) was published in 2022. I am currently completing three more books: Chinese painting and calligraphy of the 20th century (Part II: Vol. 3), Chinese ceramics (completed) and Chinese Jade (in progress).

My new book, Wei Yang's Guide to Chinese Painting and Calligraphy (Tianjin: Nankai University Press, 2022) is Available at: AMAZON

Chinese Painting Appraisal Guide

• Comprehensive reference for Chinese painting and calligraphy prior to 1911
• Focus on connoisseurship, art criticism, appraisal and market trends
• Entries on 293 painters, including biographies, stylistic analysis, and market performance
• Basic introduction to Chinese painting and calligraphy
• Analysis of significant artists and their works
• Guidelines for valuation and appraisal of Chinese art
• Chapters on materials, brushstrokes, style, and written words on painting
• Insights on dating, traditional sources, and connoisseurship
• Information on artists’ signatures, seals, and recent sales data
• 600 illustrations, 8 tables, and hundreds of examples of signatures and seals
• Comprehensive bibliography and indexes
• Authored by scholar and Accredited Senior Appraiser in Asian Art

Topics discussed in this book may not answer every question you have about the appraisal of Chinese painting and calligraphy, they will certainly form a strong foundation for you to sharpen your judgment of the quality and authenticity of a Chinese fine art. Slowly with confidence, and by practice, you will build up your new expertise in classical Chinese painting and calligraphy. You will be able to apply your newly minted skills with competence to the appraisal of modern and contemporary Chinese art since the classical and the modern speak the same visual language.

By learning from the best or guided by a practicing Chinese art historian appraiser and expert witness, you will master a high level of artistic sensitivity to the visual aesthetics of Chinese painting and calligraphy. You will possess the core Knowledge of Chinese visual culture and artistic practice, a set of unmatched skills to ornament your professional integrity and objective evaluation with credibility, accuracy and relevance, the backbone of your expert opinions.

Connoisseurship & Expertise

Tibetan Art

Dr. Wei Yang

Wei Yang received a Ph.D. in Chinese art from Northwestern University, a M.A. in Asian art, B.A. degree in art history from Smith College and designations of Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) in Asian Art and Appraisal Review and Management (ARM) from American Society of Appraisers; published a memoir(in Chinese), Desert Bloom, in 2021 and Wei Yang's Guide to Chinese Painting and Calligraphy in 2022.

Chinese Painting

Chinese Art Expertise

The field of Chinese art is big enough for more art appraisers to cultivate their passion and develop a new expertise. However, jumping into the field without an honest self-evaluation is risky. Learning the appreciation of Chinese art takes time, energy and dedication, taxing heavily on your patience. Having a road map for developing a new career accelerates your success.

Classical Chinese Painting

Chinese Painting

The appraisal of Chinese painting requires some knowledge of the essentials. Your passion for Chinese art forms the basis for success. A correct identification of value features determines authenticity. Verification of the given information prevents mistaken attribution. Adopting a ranking system enhances compatibility. Relevance in analysis (stylistic and market) supports objectivity.

Chinese Ceramics

Chinese Ceramics

TThe evaluation of Chinese ceramics follows a systematic analysis of the basic features. Recognition of regional features, ranging from the texture of clay, color of biscuit, shape of kiln to the firing method, comments on origin. Identification of types (pottery, earthware, stoneware, porcelain) sheds light on dating and availability. Analysis of shapes, sculptural methods, decorative tools and motifs and glazing methods determines authenticity.

Chinese Jade

Chinese Jade

Understanding the symbolic power (earthly and spiritually of Chinese jade is essential. Knowledge of why Chinese elite used jade as fine ornaments or ritual objects is a must. Key physical attributes include durability, color, texture, translucence, and sensuous tactile quality. Recognition of visible (material body) and invisible (spiritual association) qualities endorses competence.

Condition Impact on Value

Condition on Value

Conservation and restoration have a deep impact on value. Superficial damage (wrinkles or stains on the edges of painting) located on the marginal part of the work of art may not affect any other part of the work. Structural damage (tears or losses of part of the work) on central image, background or perimeter and corner), however, affects the work deeply in both aesthetic and commercial values.


“I just finished reading the report and I want to say that it is superlative. It is such an unbelievable appraisal; I cannot believe how good it is. You found out the artist, that must have been really hard work and impossible to recover that information.... In short, thank you so much for a truly amazing appraisal.”

Jack M. NJ

“I wish there was a more fitting way to express my gratitude to you for your expert opinion. It helps us, as a family, put this issue aside with reassurance we are not neglecting or over valuing a family heirloom...., again, many thanks for your time and attention to this collection.”

Dick G. MN

“I received your thorough and excellent appraisal of the painting. I truly appreciate all the time and efforts you took, for it is the best appraisal I have ever seen. I of course knew of Princeton by its reputation; this is an example of its excellent scholarship as well.”

Ronald S. NY

“Your entire approach is very engaging and intriguing with a combination of enthusiasm for the works of art, level of expertise and desire to meet the needs of the clients.... I have had a chance to read through your summary consultation a couple of times. It is professional, informative and very helpful.”

Simmons, E. NY

Chinese art expert
Dr. Wei Yang
Princeton, NJ 08540, US

Appraisal and Issues

Mistaken Attribution

Arriving at the right attribution via a correct reading, recognition and authentication of signatures and seals on a Chinese painting is the basic and indispensable tool for connoisseur and appraiser. An art appraiser checks, and counter-checks signatures and seals to measure and correct our visual analysis of style.

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Chinese Art Aesthetics

The appreciation of Chinese art is an organic process to achieve an intuitive enlightenment via two stages: semi-understanding and full understanding. The former addresses the basic rules for appreciating individual performance of works of art. The later emphasizes a process of psychic preparation for one’s entire being in a state of acute sensibility.

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Scroll Restoration

Conservaton and restoration have a deep impact on value no matter what types of value we are talking about. The decision on conservation and restoration of a Chinese scroll on silk and paper is based on the type of damage (superficial or structural), the cause (fire, flood or mishandling) and the scope of damage (severe or marginal).

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Authenticity Issue

Forgery is hardly new in the world of Chinese art. Even the best museums have bogus pieces in their collections. Fakes are usually identified as “Reproduction,” “copy,” “in the stroke of” or “after,” reflecting different levels of resemblance to the original.

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Appraisal of Fake

Not all masters produce finest works, and not all copies or fakes are worthless. The study of copes and fakes and all manners of forgery is to see what is truly bad in relation to what is good. Appraising a "lousy original" or a "high quality copy or fake" is standard in the valuation of classical Chinese painting.

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Appraisal Mistakes

In the appraisal of premodern Chinese painting, some mistakes are endemic in general, and the problems and their solutions are unique. Be aware of five common mistakes and some good methods for avoiding them will help appraisers with specialties other than Chinese art to develop their expertise in Chinese art.

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Preview My Artwork

Why Preview

Before paying for an appraisal, considering a preview of the suitability of your property for appraisal is wise. Preview is intended to help you make an informed decision about whether or not to pursue a proper appraisal depending on the nature of your property and your appraisal needs. It is practical, cost-effective, and informative approach to appraisal. 

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How to Order Preview

Step 1: Pay for Preview ($60/item) via PayPal or Zelle to contact@weiyangart.com, OR mail a check payable to "Wei Yang” at 274 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08540
Step 2: Identify your needs (for sale, insurance, estate planning, taxation, etc.)
Step 3: Submit 3 or 4 photos of the property (full view & close-ups) via email attachment

Preview Comments Include:

1) Identification & date of creation
2) A brief statement on market appreciation
3) Recommendations: no appraisal or for appraisal, depending on your needs

You will receive Preview Comments within 3 business days (72 hours) except for requests made on Saturdays, Sundays and Holidays. If not, please Contact Us immediately.