Ren Jianye, dean of China's Confucius Painting Academy and a member of the China Arts Association, knows that a successful artist should have not only refined ability, but also a rich cultural heritage.
While many other painters use Western techniques in their Chinese painting, the renowned painter Ren has always insisted that Western art cannot perfectly depict the characteristics of Chinese art.
An extensive and profound art that could provide a life's work in just one subject area, Chinese painting for Ren has offered great variety on different themes such as birds, flowers, figures and landscapes as well as Chinese calligraphy.
Born in 1958 in Qufu of Shandong province, the birthplace of Confucius, Ren graduated from Qufu Normal University in 1982. He has since taught in the Department of Fine Arts at the university for more than 10 years.
Ren has won a string of honors in Chinese painting. As early as in 1983, one of his works won an Outstanding Award at an art exhibition for youth in Shandong. He later participated in many national or provincial painting exhibitions, where he won a number of prizes.
In addition, many of his works have been collected into the authoritative art books or by famous restaurants, hotels and foreign colleges. His works The Endless Road, Joyous Childhood and Portrait of a Lady received wide praise.
From 2005 to 2006, Ren spent most of his time to create a great Chinese painting - the 138-m-long Landscapes of Shandong.
Based on the traditional Chinese painting techniques, the painting vividly depicts Shandong's splendor and beauty in the landscapes of 17 cities. The work includes flowers, birds, parks and modern highrise buildings.
"He has created many fantastic works that are rare to see in our daily life," said Liu Guozhu, a well-known painting connoisseur in China.
"Knowledge and life experience are very important for an artist, who should have a comprehensive ability for art perception," Ren said.