Born in Beijing, Li Gui Jun graduated from oil painting department at the Central Academy of Fine Art, Beijing in 1988 where he continued his education and received his M.F.A in 1995.
Li Guijun’s work explores the dynamics of women in a photo realistic fashion. They are part of the new school of cynical realism. On the surface the viewer sees exquisitely finished portraits of beautiful women; however beyond this the artist is portraying the ambiguity of women’s new role in china.
Li Guijun has painted adolescent girls exclusively for almost twenty years. The artist takes Chinese girls as the medium because they are brought up in a simple and disciplined environment, one that they live in their own world, a pure and loving dreamland. During the period between childhood and adulthood, physically and psychologically, they are like buds ready to blossom. His “girl next door” series of works brings the viewer into his inner self to find a moment of silence far removed from the daily pressure.
In order to achieve aesthetic excellence, Li Guijun has spent all his time and energy on colour, composition, structure, and particularly on the planning and manipulation of each and every detail. In this sense, every work of his is not a result of spontaneity, every one of his works is a design of precision. Using an unusual painting process, he starts with the head and works his way down to the rest of the character leaving the background until the end. To paint flesh realistically, he uses a finely rendered mix of brown, red, blue, green, turquoise blue and white tones inspired by the artist Rembrandt. Li Guijun paints an ideal world of peaceful elegance and the hieratic poses and expressions of his characters illustrate their separation from reality