Also known as: John Chin Young
The sixth of seven children, John Young was born in Honolulu, Hawaii in 1909 to parents who met after moving to the Islands from China. He attended Chinese language school after his classes in the public schools. His studies at Jackson school introduced him to Chinese calligraphy and mark the beginning of his life-long fascination with ink and Chinese brush painting.
Rather than spend his childhood summers in outdoor activities, Young reamined at home painting with watercolors and constructing collages. He sold his first painting to a neighbor for $5.00 when he was ten. After graduating from McKinley High School he worked designing window displays, and selling and decorating furniture. Around 1929 he opened his own shop for painting signs and wall decorations. During the depression he worked for the WPA painting two murals of undersea life at Kaimuki Intermediate School. In 1936 he closed his shop to travel through China for nine months. Upon returning to Honolulu in 1937 he opened a new business selling art supplies, frames, his own work, and works of other Asian and non-Western art. In 1983 Young closed his business and devoted himself to painting, travel, and collecting art.
While best known for his paintings of horses, his work also includes Hawaii coastal and mountain landscapes, circus performers, children, and abstracts.