Mian Situ, b. 1953, Canton, China
Born in Southern China, Mian Situ’s received his formal art training in his native homeland of Guangdong, formerly Canton. During his schooling, he experimented with various artistic styles such as impressionism, post-impressionism and expressionism. He was also deeply influenced by the 19th Century European Academic Realism that traveled to Russia and was eventually imported to China. His academic training is a result of western influences that were prevalent during the Cultural Revolution, and available only to talented young Chinese. After teaching at the institute for six years, Situ moved to Canada where he became a citizen and lived for ten years before reaching the United States.
Situ’s paintings clearly reflect his upbringing in the rural countryside of his native China. His deep-toned impressionistic paintings of the backcountry often focus on people going about their daily lives in their small villages and farming communities. Despite leaving China in 1987, the rural countryside life of his youth is one that is still deeply rooted within him. Situ’s paintings often combine elements of the young and old, which he sees as symbolic of the passage of time. He endeavors to capture the dignity and quiet beauty of the traditional way of life and dress that is eminently disappearing. Situ’s artistic versatility is also evident in his exquisite portraiture, as well as his more recent works inspired by western historical themes and American landscapes.