In 1985, Robert Hefner made a trip to all the corners and remote regions of Sichuan Province, often sleeping on cots in small factories, while researching the region’s natural gas potential for China‘s Ministry of Petroleum. While there he saw that Deng Xiaoping‘s post-Cultural Revolution reforms had taken hold so deeply he concluded they were irreversible and that unprecedented growth was sure to continue into the 21st Century. He also believed this would undoubtedly result in a period of unprecedented human change and he knew that such tumultuous change over the centuries had produced great periods of art. So he began to search out what was happening in Chinese art and found that following the Cultural Revolution, many of the younger painters had turned to oil painting to express their pent up creativity. He began collecting immediately by seeking out and acquiring the best examples of this exceptional period.