A Short Biography of Liang Kai (梁楷/ Liang K’ai)
Liang Kai (c. 1140 – c. 1210), also known as “Madman Liang”, was born in Dongping, Shandong province, and is one of the most famous painters of the Song Dynasty. There is not many information about his life, but it is known that he studied painting with fellow painter Jai Shigu and was ranked Painter-in-Attendance at the Imperial Painting Academy in Hangzhou, where he was awarded the Golden Girdle, an honorable distinction. For reasons unknown, he quit the Academy to study Chan Buddhism. His works are simple, yet powerful paintings, which are thoroughly connected to the principles of Chan Buddhism – spontaneity, individuality and immediacy.