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 Ren Weiyin  (1918 - 1994)

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Lived/Active: China      Known for: Modernist landscape painting, teaching

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from Auction House Records.
A Corner in the Park
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Ren Weiyin was born in Kunming, Yunnan, China on May 19, 1918.  Ren's mother died when he was a child. He graduated from Shanghai Xinhua Art Technical College in 1936. He was once a researcher in Painting Research Institute in Shanghai Fine Arts College. During the Anti-Japanese War, he taught in Chongqin Southwest Fine Arts College, National Art College and some other schools.

He worked for the Shanghai Fine Arts School after 1949 and was an editor at Chinese Tourism magazine. He became a librarian at the Shanghai Culture and History Museum. Later, he was forbidden to paint and forced to become a shoe repairman during the "Cultural Revolution" (1966 - 1976).

The wages were meager and the family suffered. They lived in an 8-square-meter concrete room with no bathroom or kitchen and one small window in Shanghai.  For a long time, his name and his art were not widely recognized even after he died in 1994. 

He is a legendary figure in Chinese painting, having been one of the first painters to mix Western painting influences with traditional Chinese methods and perspectives. Ren also developed what he called a "thin paint" technique, adding oil to the paints, giving them greater liquidity, thus allowing Chinese calligraphic brush techniques such as "waving" to be applied to the oil medium.

Submitted by Harlan Whatley


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