Born in the splendid province of Anhui, Fan Rong was the 28th generation descendant of Mr. Fan Zhongyan -- a renowned scholar and writer of the Song Dynasty. His father - Mr. Fan Yuan and his mother- Mr. Li Guo, both were the graduates of Waseda University in Japan and the Chinese University of Peiping (Peking). They dedicated their lives to politics and education for decades and were widely missed after their deaths.
Ever since childhood, Fan Rong loved calligraphy and painting. He had the opportunity to receive lessons and guidance from many renowned artists of the time in China and Taiwan. After he immigrated to the U.S., he started learning and studying western painting techniques in earnest and then created his own innovative and unique style. He also did a great deal of research on the physic, muscles, bones structure, appearance, and movement of horses. He travelled to many different townships in the U.S. to do sketches for more than a thousand manuscripts involving horses.
He not only followed the ancient Chinese painting methods called "Spirit Resonance", "No-Bone method", and "Pictographic", but also added Western realistic painting techniques into his painting to make the horse more spirited and real. This was more in line with Western paintings’ perspective and anatomical principles. In particular, the eyes of his horses are more lifelike, horseshoes are solid and steady, the manes are more elegant and beautiful. He did running horses by only splashing ink, without a draft sketch. He used strokes to show the flow of energy that encompasses the horse's qi, energy, momentum, wildness, fierceness, and vividly portrayed the masculine performance of the horse. You can imagine the horse as if it is jumping on the rice paper and reflects the mind of the artist in advocating nature and his yearning for a freedom with an unrestrained voice.
Fan Rong’s line drawing Sketch Horse Technique is an extremely beautiful melody. He adapts the "18 sketches" technique through the dense dispersion of lines with different lengths, interlaced
before and after each stroke to allow the contrast to show the mighty majestic, pentium jumping rhythm and aesthetic sense of a horse. His brush strokes sometimes move like a meteor, sometimes like a crawling snail, sometime heavy as a metal pestle, sometimes light as the wing of a cicada. All these techniques are meant to show the full movement and expression of a horse. Fan Rong’s painting embodies that true meaning of "writing", the lines/strokes in Chinese painting which is not used by Western artists such as Picasso, Mattis, Milo and so on in their artworks. This is also the major difference between the Chinese and Western paintings of "meaning- spirit resonance" and "reality-correspondence to the object". Mr. Fan's interpretations of "horse" paintings has taken off and its popularity is reaching all over the world. His paintings are widely acceptable, welcomed, and collected by people from all walks of life, both in the U.S. and abroad. International art critics believe that his "horse" artwork has the energy for lasting appreciation.
The horse is close friend in all of human life. It plays an important role in the history of transportation and war with its majestic posture, elegant gait, powerful sense of strength, fine spirit, and qi. From ancient times to the present, the horse has always been the object of creation and the source of inspiration by the Eastern and Western artists. There are traces of the horse present everywhere in many exhibits of the artwork in major museums in Europe and the U.S.
Throughout the long history of ancient China, artworks such as the terracotta warriors involve the majesty and integrity of horses used in the time of Emperor Qin Shihuang, horse stomping on the swallows, the gorgeous murals in Dunhuang Grotto, all have shown the unique and simple “pommel horse art” style. The well-known Chinese artworks such as "Beauty Riding Horses" by Zhang Xuan and "Night-Shining White" by Han Gan from the Tang Dynasty; "Five Horses" by Li Ganglin in Song Dynasty; "Bathing Horses" by Zhao Mengfu and “two Horses” by Ren Ren-fa in Yuan Dynasty; “Viewing Horse” by Ren Po-nien and “The Running Horse” by Xu Beihong, both modern contemporary artists, all present the influence of art and the enjoyment of beauty for the viewer.
In the vast historical Halls of Fame of Chinese calligraphy and painting, there are countless artworks and a plethora of outstanding artists. Mr. Fan Rong is an artist who devoted his life to calligraphy and painting. His calligraphy is rooted in a tradition compatible with his own great and righteous spirit. His paintings contain momentum and energy, are strong but do not bully, and are optimistically upward looking. With his firm paternal teaching and influence, solid origins, innate spirituality and power of understanding, Fan Rong absorbs the essence from life and captures inspiration to create great works of art. His achievement in painting horses has reached the peak of perfection. Undoubtedly, he is one of the most outstanding artists who has specialized in painting horse.