Wednesday, Apr. 18, 2012

Chen Lihua

Madam Chen Lihua is the most generous person I have ever known — a gracious and humble woman who shares her love of China with the world. Her real estate company, Fu Wah International Group, brought her wealth, but her success comes from her genuine understanding of people, her steadfast dedication to education and the arts and her profound commitment to philanthropy.

In 1999 she established the China Red Sandalwood Museum in Beijing, which is dedicated to preserving the Chinese art of sandalwood carving. One of the most impressive works of art in the museum is a Qingming festival screen. Madam Chen, along with over 1,000 artisans, created this masterpiece with such attention to detail that I was breathless when I first set eyes on it. Madam Chen has generously donated sandalwood artwork to museums around the world, including the Smithsonian.

As an entrepreneur, a diplomat and a patron of the arts, Madam Chen, 71, is unmatched in her willingness to help others fulfill their dreams and aspirations. She is my cherished friend.

Chan is an actor and comedian