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Gu Yunrui was born in Qiqihaer City, Heilongjiang Province in 1964. He graduated from the Mural Painting Department of China Central Academy of Fine Arts (CAFA) in 1988—notably with only four graduates annually in all of China. In 1985, he won CAFA’s most coveted Annual Award of Academic Excellence. In 1999, he won the Outstanding Achievement Award in China’s 9th National Fine Arts Exhibition. In 2009, he won the Grand Award in China’s 2nd National Mural Exhibition, and a Gold Medal in the National Environmental Art Design Competition. Gu Yunrui is the leading pioneer in contemporary Chinese art of Water Ink Chinese Characters (水墨汉字).
A graduate of the Department of Mural Painting in the Chinese Central Academy of Fine Arts, he is fortunate to have been mentored by art masters such as Hou Yimin, Zhou Lingqi, Wang Ximin and Li Huaji. In the founding era of “School No. 5”, he received a systematic, elite education, the finest available in China.
It is clear from his journey of his artistic exploration and creation that the broad education from Eastern traditional art to the modern art of the West has left an indelible imprint on Gu. Perpetuating traditional art not only requires one to perpetuate the graphic styles and fundamental skills, but also to perpetuate the inner soul of the Eastern art from the artist’s own heart.
In contemporary times, the usage of soft-pen Chinese characters to record text has essentially become obsolete, but literati are increasingly cultivating morality through the process of writing soft-pen Chinese characters. Many a number have surpassed the “six dusts” and continue to explore in the development of Chinese calligraphy. The fertile culture of the East nourishes, enabling Chinese calligraphy to continue its perpetual, infinite evolution. Gu’s Water Ink Chinese Character (水墨汉字) artwork, amidst the drenching and sometimes chaotic interchange of water and ink, enables us to experience the roots of Eastern culture, and the heart of nature.