He Jianguo was born in 1932 in Shaoyang, Hunan Province. Enrolled in the Central College of Arts of Hunan Province, he studied Chinese painting and Western painting. From 1952 onwards and for more than 40 years, he worked at the Central Studio of Documentary and Art Film. He is now a consecrated National Artist and is a member of the Chinese Artists Association.
His art is constantly evolving through the choice of the successive techniques he uses and the subjects he deals with. In the 1950s and 1960s, he painted in watercolor and gouache. He also made many movie posters. In the 1970s, he began to specialize in landscape painting. Through his brushstrokes and the use of Chinese ink, he approaches the art of engraving, which he explores in detail. He composes landscapes according to his mood and his states of mind, with large and colorful brushstrokes.
A great defender of life and nature, he captures emotions and integrates them into his landscapes made of mountains, rivers and clouds. He creates mysterious, often misty atmospheres. He is also inspired by two classical painters, although slightly marginal and kept apart by the scholars of their time: Ma Yuan (1160-1225) and Shi Tao, the famous “bitter-pumpkin monk” (1642-1708).
Over time, He Jianguo has acquired a unique personal style. Today, at the age of 85 years, he continues to paint tirelessly.