He Neng was born in Chendu, Sichuan in 1942, and is recognized as one of the founding members of the Yunnan Art School, Heavy Color movement, along with Liu Shaohui, and Jiang Tiefeng.
He Neng showed his artistic promise early on and attended the high school affiliated with the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts and then the Academy. Upon graduation in 1965, he was assigned to Kunming where he had a succession of jobs producing the political images demanded during the turbulent years of the Cultural Revolution. He served first as art editor for the Yunnan News Agency, then as set designer for the Yunnan Opera Company and subsequently in the Yunnan Film Studio. He Neng also illustrated books.
He Neng’s printings won him a first prize for illustration, and by 1980 he was transferred to the Yunnan Artists Association. In 1981 he was invited to join the faculty of the Yunnan Art Institute where he is now a professor. In that same year, he was part of the controversial “Ten Yunnan Artists” exhibition in Beijing’s National Art Gallery. In 1982 he triumphantly participated in the acclaimed “Heavy Color” exhibitions in Hong Kong and Singapore, which resulted in recognition of the “Yunnan School.”
He Neng has held over 100 exhibits of his artworks internationally, including such places as: Europe, Japan, Hong Kong, Taiwan, China and the United States.