Chinese artist Mao Yan was born in 1968 and was trained by his father, who was an artist, already at a young age. He graduated from the Central Academy of Fine Arts in China's central province Hunan in 1991. Currently, Mao Yan is an established contemporary portraitist, whose work is referred to as being neo-realist. His portraits, in which schoolmates, relatives and friends of the artist figure, often breath a poetic and psychologically revealing atmosphere. Mao Yan places his sitters in quiet abstract settings, capturing them without any prominent emotion or expression.
The artist has had numerous international group as well as solo exhibitions, amongst others at the Shanghai Art Museum and the Nanjing Academy of Fine Arts in China.