Tinyan was born in Hin Kwong Village, Go Yew County, Kwangtung, China in 1942. As the youngest in a family of artists, he developed a great interest in art at an early age. At the age of 16, he was admitted with honour into Wuhan South Central China Academy of Fine Arts. The faculties were influenced by Russian and European traditions. Tinyan was later accepted into the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Arts.
In 1965, Tinyan put his talents to work in Africa, where he designed fabric prints for the Nigerian Textiles Company. The beautiful scenery of the Nigerian tropics provided him with countless ideas for his fabric prints. His keen eye for color and style can easily be recognized in his prints of the natives and lush tropical forests. After leaving Nigeria, Tinyan went to Europe and traveled through Italy, Switzerland, France, Holland and Belgium.
In 1967 he enrolled in "École National Supérieure des Beaux-Art" in Paris, France. In 1968 he immigrated to Canada where his future as an artist was firmly established, as he began painting full time. In all his years in Canada, Tinyan has never run out of subjects for his paintings. His ideas are numerous and vary in theme, and include breathtaking scenes of Canada and Hong Kong. To quote the artist; "I capture the spirit of light and color and express it on the canvas. I like to paint familiar subjects so I close off all outside trends and paint what gives me freedom. This lifestyle provides me with endless happiness and success." - Tinyan Chan
In 1983, to recognize his accomplishments and loyalty to the art community, Tinyan was elected a senior member of the Federation of Canadian Artists, thus being granted the titled of S.F.C.A. In recognition of his outstanding contribution to the world of art, on April 17th, 2011, Tinyan was selected by the Recognition Committee of the FCA to be the recipient of the "Lifetime Achievement Award". He is the first Asian to receive such a high honour since the Federation's establishment in 1941.