Selected Works
Artist Bio




b.1963  Shandong, China


Ling Jian graduated with a BA from the Fine Arts Department of Tsinghua University Art College, Beijing, in 1986. 

Ling moved from China to Europe in the late 1980s, a geographical transition which led to the artist’s experimentation with the body and performance art. Ling circles his practice around mass consumerism and society’s hypocritical stances on beauty ideals through various painting methods. His series of painted women are both kitsch and politically charged; their style and compositions drawn from traditional Western portraiture. Using conventionality as a framework for which to comment on society, he enlarges the eyes or reddens the lips, highlighting the hypocrisy of beauty standards, sexuality and political drama. Recently, his painting series of sharks evolve this idea further, with vague erotic themes cutting through the aggressive, feral imagery. 


He currently divides his time between Berlin, Beijing and Hong Kong.



Song of the Ancient Birds

11.25 - 12.17, 2016

Hong Kong



Ling Jian | Song of the Ancient Birds

Ling Jian's new works are inspired by chance encounters with music and painting. The German rock band Rammstein has a heavy metal song entitled “Ohne Dich" (“Without You”) about love and death. One of the lyrics is “Ohne dich… Und die Vögel singen nicht mehr” (“Without you… the birds sing no more”). Ling Jian heard this song while shopping in a flea market, where he also chanced upon a bird painting manual from the Forbidden City. In that moment, the gongbi paintings of birds in this manual and Rammstein's song collided and blended in time and space, producing a special emotional connection. With this unexpected encounter, Ling Jian chose to fuse gongbi bird painting with contemporary painting techniques, continuing his recent experiments with related artistic questions.

Time Out Hong Kong | Ling Jian: Song of the Ancient Birds

Inspired by German rock band Rammstein and the works of Guanxi, a monk and poet during the late Tang dynasty, Chinese artist Ling Jian juxtaposes bird murals in the Forbidden City with photorealistic portraits of female figures. By blending traditional and contemporary aesthetics, Ling combines different themes to highlight the harmony of visual expression. 

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D06, 798 Art District,

No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road

Chaoyang Dst. Beijing, China

B01, 798 Art District, No.2 Jiuxianqiao Road

Chaoyang Dst. Beijing, China

Hong Kong

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Central, Hong Kong


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