袁元1990 年从美院附中考入美院，那时候美院的油画专业强调传统的教育方式，讲求扎实的基本功训练。袁元一直属于造型能力比较强的学生，毕业之后又去到工艺美院继续研究生学习，之后回到美院教书、读博士，现在又是美院基础部的副主任，可以说这么多年袁元从没有脱离对油画本体语言的追求。 让我觉得非常珍贵的是，在袁元艺术的转变中，最基本的对于“水平”的要求从没有松懈过，他一直在和油画“较劲”。至于说主题，主题是由每个人的生活、经历所决定的，每个人自身的经历决定了创作的主题。我的经历也决定着我的作品，这是不能管的，我只管最基本的问题——水平怎么样。
Yuan Yuan was admitted to the academy of fine arts in 1990 from the affiliated middle school of the academy of fine arts. At that time, the oil painting major of the academy emphasized the traditional education method and solid basic skills training. Yuan Yuan has always been a student with strong modeling ability. After graduation, he went to continue his postgraduate study in the Institute of Arts and Crafts, and then returned to the academy of fine arts to teach and study for a doctor degree. Now he is also the deputy director of the basic department of the academy. It can be said that Yuan Yuan has never been separated from the pursuit of painting noumenal language.
What makes me feel very precious is that in the transformation of Yuan Yuan's art, the most basic requirements for "level" have never been relaxed, and he has been “competitive" with the painting. As for the themes, the theme is determined by each person's life and experience, and each person's own experience determines the theme of creation. My experience also determines my work, which is not to be controlled, and I'm concerned with the most basic requirements of all -- what the level is.
I have always appreciated Yuan Yuan's dedication to art. At such an age, it takes more faith to keep this dedication, and Yuan Yuan sticks to his own role as an artist. His exploration of language has no boundaries. Themes, brush strokes, tone, space, texture, form, national character, time character, He has never given up any of the items, deducing his honesty and love for art as a whole, Yuan Yuan has done very pure, his art has fully possessed all the attributes of a mature artist. Today, to say that more serious, the persistence of language itself is a test of an artist's will, but I believe that the persistence of language is not an adventure or a gamble. Yuan yuan's painting also showed me the ease that today's Chinese people have mastered the tool of oil painting. It is already a completely Chinese face, completely free from the Affectation and embarrassment that imitate others and thus lose one's own individuality for more than 100 years, and has no trace of oil painting as an imported goods. This is very comforting.
It occurred to me that Johannes Vermeer, the Dutch painter who had been absent from us for three hundred years, was called the lyric poet, and the master of language. Years ago, I had seen a retrospective of Vermeer in Metropolitan Museum, New York. In the cold wind, a long queue outside the Metropolitan Museum purchasing tickets in sequence. Vermeer is not for any other reason, only because the excellence of language that constantly remembered by people. Obviously, art is immortal because of language. I have no doubt about it. I know that Yuan Yuan has this perseverance in his heart.