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Wang was apprenticed in Shanghai at the age of 12. By 1940, he was already well-recognized in the artistic community, having held several personal exhibitions in Shanghai and Chongqing. Many celebrities, including Shi Liang, He Luting, Zhu Xuefan, Liu Yazi and Qian Xiaoshan were among his friends at the time. His biggest patron was rumored to be Du Yuesheng, the infamous "Godfather" of Shanghai. He joined Kuomintang and held civil positions in the 1930s in the Shanghai Municipality. After the Communist Party took over China in 1949, he was determined to be "anti-revolutionary", was physically tortured in 1959 and forced to repent in writing for his political belief. In the 1960s, he was again forced to the countryside for "re-education". He continued to paint, even during his exile. The majority of the works that bear his seal were created during this period.
After the 1980s, he was finally released from the exile and was invited by Suzhou government to help found one of the municipality's major export-oriented enterprises as its principal art designer. However, due to his political history, he was never allowed to be recognized publicly or to hold any significant position under the communist rule.
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