- Zhu ChengliangIllustrator – China
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I strive for the best quality and illustrate a picture book like making a movie. I want to draw the soul of the story and hope that young readers can understand the deeper meaning buried in the words and improve their artistic appreciation.Zhu C.
zhu chengliang was born in Shanghai in 1948 with an innate talent and interest in painting. Later in his life, he was enrolled in Nanjing University of the Arts, majoring in oil painting. Over forty years of creation and illustration, Zhu has provided the children in China with more than fifty excellent picture books.
His painting style tends to be simple and full of the fun of childhood. Zhu incorporates Chinese characteristics into his illustrations—such as traditional New Year painting and wood-engraving style in The Story of the Kitchen God, clay figures in All in a Day, water color in Flame. Zhu’s chameleon-like visual style as such can conjure up an immediate response in young readers. To him, it is very important to blend a good story with varied painting skills so as to delight young children aesthetically and ethically. Currently, he is still chasing innovative ideas of a picture book. His latest illustration in Mr. and Mrs. Candy’s Trip witnesses his transformation from traditional Chinese painting and his further exploration of art. In this picture book, he uses pencils to sketch realistic details, but with restrained and dreamlike qualities. Overall, these creative practices are born from the aesthetic emotion and the relentless artistic pursuit of the painter.
Zhu’s meticulousness in painting illustrated books has brought him both national and international awards. In fact, back in 1984, Zhu had already been mentioned honourably by UNESCO’s Noma Concours for his illustrations in Flashing Rabbit-Shaped Lamp. In 1985, he was selected as the Chinese representative to illustrate All in a Day, which was published by Japan. In 2010, A New Year’s Reunion was awarded first prize in the Feng Zikai Children’s Picture Book Award, the most prestigious picture book award in China. Through his oeuvre, he is dedicated to enhancing the visual appreciation of young children worldwide. Filling the pictures in the book with traditional Chinese culture and distinct local colors, Zhu Chengliang’s illustration will continue to emotionally resonate with audiences from different cultures.