Born in 1979, in the lovely coastal city of Da Lian, China (PRC), Ping Zhan left to attend college, where he graduated with degrees in science and technology. Upon graduation, Mr. Zhan excelled for over a decade as a software engineer and, at that time, started to realize his lifetime dream of exploring the realms of painting and three dimensional art. It was also during the latter half of this period when he started to take notice of pipes and pipe smoking, and began to think of the latter in terms of being sculptural objects. The die was cast.
Zhan Ping (in China, surname comes before given) first turned his carving tools to pipes in 2011. While almost incomprehensible, given the advanced state of his art, his carving is self-taught. Largely influenced by the legendary Japanese pipemakers, followed by the famous Danes, Ping's talents as a carver have, at times, seemed to progress almost geometrically. His briars are precise and beautiful, his stems and bits are hand carved from ebonite and his tenons and mortise works are things of genuine beauty. With an annual production currently limited to only 100 pipes per year, a Ping Zhan briar is one "Red Storm Rising" to keep a weather-eye out for.