In 1987, Stone immigrated to New York City to chase his artistic dreams. Influenced by American contemporary art and rock music, Stone dabbled in woodblock burning and carvings, as well as a variety of other art forms. His very first canvas art pieces were composed of bare trees, busts, and skeletons in primary colors. From 1988 to 1992, Stone’s art was exhibited in several contemporary art museums of New York such as the Alternative Museum, the Clock Tower, and White Columns.
In 1993, Stone was spotted while attending an art exhibition in Taiwan and was cast in a tea commercial that catapulted him into a household name. He was regarded as the spokesperson for the ‘Generation of New New Mankind’ (aka young individuals living in the 1990s). Stone was the first mainland China artist to exhibit in Taiwan’s top galleries, including It Park 伊通画廊 and UP Gallery 阿普画廊. In addition, Stone released his first heavy metal album in 1995 and became a VJ for MTV Asia. However, he longed to return to the world of art and in 1996 resigned as a VJ and moved back to New York. However, he did not immediately return to the art industry; instead he oversaw the creative production for the television program, "America in 60 Minutes."Once in the television business, Stone found it difficult to transition to the art world. Stone operated his own multimedia business between the United States and China, and after a decade of working, made the decision to start painting again with renewed vigor. Coming to the realization that the business and art industries were parallel in many ways, he decided to marry the two worlds by creating twelve oil paintings, each depicting unique international currencies..
Each of the currency paintings are composed of almost 20,000 mosaic cubes, each a different color. Stone has to fine tune each color, stoke by stroke, until the desired result is achieved. It takes him almost one month, five to twelve hours each day, to finish a painting. Facing such a challenge, Stone named it jokingly, "Mian Bi," meaning ‘Face the currency,’ in Chinese. Both ‘Face the currency’ and Face the wall’ are pronounced in the same way in Chinese because both "currency" and "wall" are pronounced in the same way as "bi". The emphasis was on the inner will power of keeping one’s thoughts in one piece wholeheartedly without paying attention to the outside surrounding. It took Bodhidharma ‘Mian Bi’ Stone nine years to complete the currency series.
Since 2010, Stone has created a series of oil paintings in his unique oil mosaic cube style: ‘RMB -Chinese currency,’‘World currencies- Red Fortune,’ ‘US & HK Dollars,’ ‘Analog Pop - Marilyn Monroe,’‘Beijing Opera Mask,’ and ‘Buddha; The Cross.’
From 2010 through 2015, Stone painted nine mosaic art pieces consisting of depictions of a variety of international currencies. His most recent mosaic depicted the front of a United States $1 bill and took three months to complete.
Stone was invited to exhibit in "The un(Scene) Art Show" and noticed that people loved taking their photos in front of his 52 inches x 120 inches dollar bill mosaic. Seeing this inspired Stone to plan a three-dimensional artwork installation for the large piece.
Stone spent another couple of months painting the back of the United States one-dollar bill. Afterwards, he made a metal stand and installed the two sides of the one-dollar artwork together and the "One Buck" oil painting installation was born.
New York is a living, breathing art museum and Stone decided to exhibit “One Buck” as a moving art piece to better showcase it. He bought a trailer, modified it, and installed “One Buck” on it, turning it into a mobile art gallery that toured the streets of New York.
"One Buck" was magnetic, wherever it went, crowds surrounded it. Stone explained the purpose of this special mobile piece: "Since ONE BUCK is off on the streets, I am not able to tell its future and nor am I able to tell my own future. Maybe we really do not know the future of our lives, therefore we are just living, we are going, not knowing whether forward or backward, we are just on the road, on the road of New York, on the road of life, on the road destined by our fate. However, only in the best street museum of New York can art break through the form and the walls to exist freely, to be appreciated by all. This is the purpose of my work and also the ultimate goal of the art I am pursuing.”
Hello New Yorker, Sinovision Interview, 2017
CCTV Channel 4 News, 2016 - New York Artist Stone’s One Buck
Documentary film “Renminbi” opens with Stone’s RMB Series. It aired in China at Shanghai Television Station
The first MTV commercial in Chinese language aired in 1995. It features MTV Asia VJ Schutze as the Chicken Man.
“New York Story”, an avant-garde tea commercial that features Stone as the young and cool New York artist. The commercial was aired in Taiwan in 1994 and shook the nation with Stone’s cutting edge attitude and think-out-of-the-box philosophies of life.