Mao Jianhua is a Chinese artist and entrepreneur born in Changshu, Jiangsu province, in 1955. His work has led him to spend over forty years travelling between Europe and the USA.
In 2006 Mao Jianhua began to study painting by pure chance, inspired by a creative instinct that gradually evolved into a process of personal and cultural maturation. His paintings are often signed with the pseudonym ‘Zhuo Weng’, which describes a wise man dedicated to a simple and austere life.
Between 2007 and 2009 Mao Jianhua produced drawings recalling the style of the four famous painters of the Qing dynasty: Wang Shimin, Wang Hui, Wang Jian, and Wang Yuanqi. The work of Wang Yuanqi was particularly influential in the development of Mao’s solid foundation in landscape painting. Between 2009 and 2013 Mao Jianhua practised the painting style of the four great artists of the Yuan Dynasty: Huang Gongwang, Wang Meng, Ni Zan and Wu Zhen, as well as works by Ju Ran and Dong Yuan from the preceding Song Dynasty. Mao Jianhua not only studied their brushstrokes and methods of applying ink, but also their individual ways of reinterpreting traditional landscape painting.
In 2013 Mao Jianhua turned his attention towards the famous modern artist Huang Binhong. Since then he has assumed the distinctive personal style recognisable in his works, from small-size sheets to works as large as eleven metres in width.
His first public exhibitions were held in Italy:
2016 – Zen Expression, curated by Philip Daverio, Ca’ Vendramin Calergi, Venice.
2017 – The Timeless Dance. Beyond the Mountains, curated by Martina Mazzotta, Complesso del Vittoriano, Rome.
2018 – Mountains. Secret Harmony of the Earth, curated by Cristina Acidini, Fondazione Franco Zeffirelli, Sala della Musica, Florence.