Chinese artist, Leng Jun, is a master of hyperrealism. His amazing lifelike portraits are impossible to tell from a picture. He is known to be detail orientated, making every wisp of hair and fiber of clothing look as real as possible. With his sense of balancing technical skill and the emotional level he puts in his work, he’s been able to win people’s hearts around the world.
Leng has been passionate about art since a very young age. Born in 1963, he came of age during a time of great economic reform known as the Opening of China. He first started experimenting with oil paint while in middle school, and these experiments stayed with him as he continued to enrich his knowledge further ahead influenced by the Western culture, which shaped him into the artist he is today.
“For people like me who were born around the 1960s, we were teenagers at the time when we formed our worldview. That was a great opportunity. Looking back, reform and opening-up really saved the soul of our generation,” said Leng. “At the time, information coming from the West greatly contributed to the enlightenment of our people. It also laid a very solid foundation for my later creations.”
Although he was well known and respected as an artist, it was his 2004 oil painting Mona Lisa that brought attention to all of his prior artwork. The photorealistic modern portrait of a woman was followed by a series of other hyperrealist portraits of women each one more detailed than the other.
Among all the praises, there are also criticisms that his painting is very much like photographs, but the artist says that anyone seeing the paintings in person won’t be fooled. His intention is not to compete or imitate a photograph, but he likes to push his art to its limits. “I want to push my painting skills to a higher level. What is the most difficult thing? To paint people,” Leng told CGNT. “For example, still life or rusted metals, they’re not something we see every day. People deal with people the most and people are most familiar with people. To portray people and make others believe is the hardest thing.”
Chinese painter Leng Jun is known for his hyperrealistic portraits of women.
Every detail of the model, from wisps of hair to fibers of clothing, is rendered with precise detail.
Leng’s first foray into photorealism was his 2004 oil painting, Mona Lisa.
He has continued his hyperrealistic work across a series of paintings that have been highly successful.