Zhang Ben, who grew up in the city of Huangshan, in Anhui province, is steeped in the picturesque scenery of the Yellow Mountain.
He gained his initial understanding of art in childhood by learning oil painting from Hong Ling, a teacher at the Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, who spends months every year painting on the Yellow Mountain.
After enrolling at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, he studied oil painting from other eminent artists, including Chao Ge, Zhu Naizheng and Jin Shangyi. And their guidance helped him develop his own classical style and a color scheme.
Zhang's solo exhibition, Invisible Cities, which is now on at Beijing's Amy Li Gallery runs through April 14.
In his paintings, Zhang creates an imaginary world by piecing together scenes from his travels around the world and reassembling his memories. He depicts subjects such as a boat, houses, a piano and a floating mountain on the sea, in a way that makes them look like monuments, to communicate his thoughts on the passing of time, eternity and human civilization.