Yuan received his BFA from the Jingdezhen Academy of Arts in Jiangxi, China. He has also received a three-year certificate of study at the National Academy School, where he won a travel scholarship. He studied sculpture at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing and then became Vice-Chair of the Sculpture Department and Professor of Drawing and Sculpture at the Shandong Art Institute. In the US he has taught pastel workshops at the Suburban Art League and watercolor and pastel workshops at the National Academy. He is watercolor and terra cotte instructor at the National Academy.