Ling Jian (Chinese, b.1963) is a painter known for his sharp oil and acrylic portraits of women. Born in China’s Shandong Province, Ling attended Qinghua University Art College in Beijing, and graduated in 1986. He lived and worked in Vienna and Hamburg during the 1980s, and has divided his time between Berlin and Beijing since 1996. Ling’s paintings address issues of personal identity in China, and examine the social and political aspects of Chinese life.
The artist paints poignant portraits on large-scale canvases that span several feet in each direction, zeroing in on the subtle emotions of his surreal characters. The doe-eyed beauties, some of them clad in military uniforms, expose hidden wounds and silent tears, cluing the viewers into their secret suffering.