Professor Tian Liming was born in Beijing in 1955 and studied at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, later becoming the Dean of the Chinese Paintings College. Throughout his distinguished career he held other important posts such as Academic Committee Member, Head of the Chinese Paintings Department and Associate Dean of the China National Academy of Painting. Currently he is the Dean of the China National Academy of Paintings and also a board member of the China Arts Association, Deputy Director of the Chinese Paintings Art Council and Vice President of the Chinese Painting Society.
Tian adopts a ‘people-oriented’ approach that follows the laws of nature to interpret traditional heritage in a contemporary cultural context. He is inspired by the aesthetic ideals of harmony in Confucianism and Taoism, always seeking beauty in simplicity and innocence in his paintings. By upholding a principle of harmony between man and nature, he has developed new ink painting techniques all of which involve extreme control of the brush and a superb understanding of the materials. These techniques include ‘blending and dyeing’, ‘conjunction’ and ‘ink encircling’ – all innovations upon the traditional ‘boneless’ painting technique. His works undeniably contribute significantly to the development of the traditional ‘boneless’ technique. He distinguishes himself as an artist by his use of the Chinese colour palette to convey unclouded and gossamer scenes, pioneering delicate and subtle ways of expression, all by the means of a distinctive style which reflects the essence of contemporary aesthetics.
Tian’s brush gives birth to breathtaking images created through opaque silhouettes, misty clouds and hazy shadows. In his pursuit of the poetic everyday, the artist ushers traditional ink painting into the modern world, embodying it with life, vigour, and vitality.