烙畫藝術家姜忠德1959年出生於山東青島，現定居美國紐約。姜忠德自幼受家庭環境的影響喜愛繪畫、書法。青年時期接觸烙畫，從此幾十年來不斷探索、創作，風格自成一派，成為非物質文化遺產 – 烙畫傳統民間藝術的傑出代表。
中國的烙畫藝術遠遠早於世界其它地區，始於西漢時期 (公元前202-公元8年)，為中國漢族傳統藝術珍品。烙畫是用火燒熱烙鐵在物體上熨出烙痕作畫，在把握火候、力度的同時，注重“意在筆先、落筆成形”。 烙畫不僅有中國畫的勾、勒、點、染、擦、白描等手法，還可以燙出豐富的層次與色調，具有較強的立體感，酷似棕色素描和石版畫，因此烙畫既能保持漢族傳統繪 畫的民族風格，又可達到西洋畫嚴謹的寫實效果。使其有獨特的藝術魅力，因而給人以古樸典雅、回味無窮的藝術享受。
姜忠德近年移居美國後，致力於把烙畫這一傳統的中國民間藝術推廣到國際藝術舞台，同時更好地吸收西方藝術的優點，提高自身的藝術綜合能力，以求實現藝術創 作的蝶變。他借鑒東西方繪畫藝術的方法及其它表現形式，在傳承烙畫藝術特點的基礎上，吸收西方藝術的素描、造型、攝影等形式的藝術表現力，豐富烙畫的內 涵，不斷探索與創新。精湛的烙畫工藝加上多年的藝術造詣和追求，造就了他獨特的風格。一支電烙筆、一張木畫板， 在令人眼花繚亂的當代藝術叢林中，姜忠德以其寫實重意、自然淳樸、藝技互彰、東西交融的藝術作品，獨樹一幟，跨越時代與文化的界限，為觀者呈現一片心靈的 綠洲。
Artist Jiang Zhongde and His Pyrography
A resident of New York City, pyrography artist Jiang Zhongde was born in China’s coastal province of Shandong in 1959. Jiang’s love of painting and Chinese calligraphy started in his childhood thanks to the influence of his family environment. In his youth, Jiang came upon the art of Chinese pyrography. It turned into decades of continuous exploration and creative pursuit, leading to the formation of his unique style, and his own transformation into an outstanding representative of the traditional artistry of pyrography, a Chinese non-material cultural heritage.
Chinese pyrography started far earlier than the rest of the world, in the Western Han Dynasty (202 BC – 8 AD). This treasured Chinese traditional art is practiced by applying hot iron on materials such as wood to create patterns and images. While controlling heat and intensity, the artist must “have the image in mind before starting the iron pen, and get the image out upon only one try”. Pyrography not only employs many of the techniques of Chinese traditional painting, but also affords a strong three-dimensional feel with its richness of layering and toning, bearing a strong resemblance to brown sketches and lithographs. As a result, pyrography is able to keep the traditional Han Chinese painting style, but also achieve the serious realistic effect found in Western art traditions. Its unique artistic charm brings out a simple elegance and offers memorable, long-lasting artistic enjoyment.
Since immigrating to the United States in recent years, Jiang Zhongde has devoted himself to taking traditional Chinese pyrography to the international art stage, and to better absorbing the advantages of Western art and improving his own comprehensive ability as an artist. In order to achieve a transformative leap in his art, Jiang tirelessly explores and innovates, learning from both Eastern and Western forms of visual arts. Building on the inheritance of Chinese pyrography, he works to absorb the expressive power of sketching, shaping, photography and other forms of Western art, enriching the creative connotation of pyrography. Jiang has mastered a unique style with his superb skill and years of artistic pursuit and creative exploration. With an electrocautery pen, and a wood drawing board, Jiang has managed to carve out a simple and calm space amidst the dizzying jungle of contemporary art. His body of work expresses realism and meaning with a natural simplicity. Complementing art with technique, blending East and West, Jiang crosses the boundaries of time and cultures, delivering to the viewer an artistic oasis for the soul.
From the beginning of 2016, Jiang Zhongde accepted the request by the World Panda Foundation to focus on panda-themed works of art. Through improving the pyrography pen, carefully hand-picking materials, as well as further exploration in technique and creative conception, Jiang has achieved new breakthroughs, and his vivid portrayal of panda bears has been collected by the American Philatelic Society, Temple University and other institutional and private collectors.