Born in Zibo (Shandong, China), I was formally trained in the art of painting from the age of 15, under an education system similar to that of the Russian school tradition. There were plenty opportunities for life drawing, as well as still-life, plaster cast and figure drawing exercises. The emphasis was on understanding the structure, light contrast and the texture. I also studied colors according to the Impressionist principles. In 1989, I was fortunate enough to be admitted to the Central Academy of Fine Art. I had the chance to be in contact with some new thinking and guided by some leading artists in China. Afterward, I returned to Zibo and took up a teaching post in art. Just two months before the millennium, fate took me to South Africa. For most oriental people, Africa represents a pure, primordial and mysterious continent. The novelty of the land, habitants, animals and plants under the powerful sunlight injected me with vigor and energy in the forms showing up on my canvas. I explore various topics, such as figures, food, landscape, fish, pear etc. As an example, let me elaborate a bit on my fish paintings. While painting fish, I always identify myself with them. For me, they are real, whether alive or just an image on the canvas. I try to become aware of the fish’s happiness, anxiety, loneliness, playfulness and their purity in the clear water: a kind of spiritual perfection and enlightenment. However they are not entities in a big void, for there is forever a kind of self-awareness and self-importance in a fish. Maybe this is represented by the presence of the shadow accompanying each fish in my pictures. They are moreover austere beings traveling stubbornly in only one direction, tracing out a line, with no beginning and no end. This reminds me of the title of a Gauguin painting: "Where do we come from? What are we? Where are we going?" Some people commented that I was influenced by Taoism and they sensed an oriental culture background in my work. Not conscious of these, I do not deliberately choose any oriental symbolism for my art, if there is any at all. For me, my work contains stories to be told and understood through a kind of unexplained mutual communication with the subject. How I structure the painting and choose the tones depends on my feeling and contact with the subject. In short, I am always inspired by what I am
Biography: Education & work: (1989 - 1991) Studying oil painting at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing, China (1991 - 1999) Assistant Lecturer, Commercial Technical Secondary School of Zibo, China (2001 - 2003) Awarded Postgraduate Diploma and MAFA from University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, Souh Africa Exhibitions: (1990 - 1999) Taking part in numerous exhibitions in China (2001) Solo art exhibition at Jack Heath Gallery, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa (2004) Solo art exhibition at Tamasa Art Gallery, Durban, South Africa (2006) Renault Artists Exhibition, Paris, France and Port Elizabeth, Johannesburg, South Africa (2007) Solo exhibition at KZNSA, Durban, South Africa
Country: South Africa
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