Zheng Shengtian (1938) is from Luoshan, Henan Province. He graduated from the Oil Painting Department of the Zhejiang Art Academy in 1958 and was transferred to work for the Zhejiang People’s Fine Arts Publishing House. In 1961, he joined the faculty of the Zhejiang Art Academy. The next year he was sent to the Central Art Academy for advanced study in the studio of Dong Xiwen. Zheng now is associate professor in the Zhejiang Art Academy and actively involved in setting up exchange programs to send young artists to the USA and Europe.
Zheng is known for his oil paintings. Together with Xu Junxuan and Zhou Ruiwen, he produced the famous fresco turned painting turned propaganda poster Renjian zhengdao shi cangsang - Mao zhuxi shicha Huabei, Zhongnan he Huadong diqude wuchan jieji wenhua da geming xingshi (‘Man’s world is mutable, seas become mulberry fields: Chairman Mao inspects the situation of the Great Proletarian Revolution in Northern, South-Central and Eastern China’) in 1967. Zheng, although considered ‘a bourgeois intellectual amenable to reform’ at the time and therefore of questionable political trustworthiness, was made responsible for the total composition. The other artists who participated, Zhou and Xu, were considered more dependable ideologically; they were ordered to paint Mao’s face and body, respectively.