Cheng-Khee Chee, born in Fujian, immigrated to Malaysia in 1948. He graduated from Nanyang University in 1960 and received a master of arts in library science from the University of Minnesota in 1964. After graduation, Chee started teaching at the University till his retirement in 1994.
Chee is one of the most accomplished watercolor artists in the United States. He is a Dolphin Fellow of the American Watercolor Society, signature member of the National Watercolor Society, Transparent Watercolor Society of America, and Watercolor USA Honor Society, etc. He is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Art, Who’s Who in American Education, and Dictionary of World Chinese Artists Achievements. Chee has been represented in numerous national juried exhibitions and received more than 200 honors, including the American Watercolor Society Silver Medal, Allied Artists of America Gold Medal, and Transparent Watercolor Society of America Skyledge Award First Place, etc.
Chee has many publications among which Old Turtle, an illustration published in 1992, was one of the best-selling illustrations in the U.S. during the year of its publication.
In addition to teaching and artistic creation, Chee has made tremendous efforts to promote international exchanges of arts. After the opening-up of China, he organized a delegation from the University of Minnesota to China, and established the exchange academic program between the Duluth Campus of the University and Chinese Academy of Art.
Furthermore, Chee has received many honors for his teaching and community services, including Distinguished Teaching Award from the University of Minnesota, and the 1994 University of Minnesota, Duluth Campus Chancellor’s Distinguished Services Award. In 1994, he was honored as Duluth’s Cultural Ambassador to the World by Mayor of Duluth. In 1998, College of Art at Duluth Campus of the University of Minnesota established Cheng-Khee Chee Scholarship to recognize his outstanding contributions to the college.