- Xiong LiangIllustrator–China
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The pioneering Chinese illustrator Xiong Liang was born in a small city by the water in southern China, where from a very young age he began his study of traditional Chinese ink and brush painting. His creations span a diverse variety of genres—including novels, children's books, plays, modern ink brush painting, and works of illustration for adults.
Xiong Liang's artistic journey began at the age of ten. From the beginning, he was completely self-taught, allowing him to cast aside the fetters of formal artistic education. Each night in his small studio in the attic of his home, he read classic works of art and literature from China and the rest of the world. He came to know these great artists as one might an old friend, and though he was still just a young child, he began to plan how he might join them with the serious sober mindset of an adult.
Xiong Liang was brought up in a household of diverse religious backgrounds. Because of this, even though the main thread running through his work has always been Chinese illustration, his art incorporates a variety of cultures and visual styles, and he has always been able to work in a wealth of unconventional, interesting "oddball" influences. His singular personality and upbringing have gifted him with an unconventional imagination and made possible his unflagging creation of one captivating work of illustration after another, at a time when the genre had yet to win recognition in the Chinese market.
Even though he has slowly emerged as a pioneer and leader in his field, he remains an artist capable of surprising and exciting, constantly experimenting with new forms of narrative and imagery in each new work.
Xiong Liang himself has said that writing and illustration are the work of a lifetime—and a work of unsurpassed beauty! Both are always fresh, always brimming with imagination. It is never held back by convention, always ready to listen and to exchange ideas. It builds understanding between all people, between all groups and cultures, and even between all the living creatures on our planet. [End Page 46]