'Yu Xiaodong was born in 1963 in Shenyang, China. He was raised in a city environment but at eight years old went to live with his grandparents in the countryside. Yu's grandfather, a painter himself, encouraged his grandson's interest in art. Stylistically speaking, he cites the important effects the disparate work of Northern Renaissance master painter and printmaker Albrecht Düurer (1471-1528), Spanish Baroque court painter Diego Velasquez (1599-1660), Dutch genre painter Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675), 19th century Russian realist Ilya Efimovich Repin (1844-1930), French Impressionist Claude Monet (1840-1926) and German Expressionist printmaker and sculptor, Käthe Kollwitz (1867-1945) have had on his painting style. It is a distinctive style that incorporates the devoted attention to light, shadow, color, detail and line quality that have characterized the work of these European artists throughout the centuries. '