Creating startlingly lifelike portraits, Chinese artist Leng Jun is a master of hyperrealism. The accomplished painter is mainly known for his detailed oil paintings of women, where each wisp of hair and fiber of clothing is rendered to perfection. Born in 1963, Leng came of age during a time of significant economic reform, also known as the Opening of China. This cultural change, and the Western influences it introduced, particularly influenced his art.
Interested in painting since he was young, he first experimented with oil paint while in middle school. Although no oil paints were readily available in China at the time, a friend gave him a few colors to experiment with. Those early experiments stayed with him; therefore, he continued his studies with a steady flow of information from the West, helping to shape and mold him as an artist.
While he was well respected as an artist before, it was after his 2004 oil painting titled Mona Lisa that his work went viral. The photorealistic portrait of a woman was based on the principals of Leonardo da Vinci’s iconic painting but depicted a modern woman. This artwork was followed by a series of photorealistic portraits of women. By examining the details, one can appreciate the precise brushstrokes which pull out each aspect of the sitter.