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Engages in the basic teaching for art and design courses as well as painting creation; teaches basic courses for undergraduate students and specialized art courses for graduate students; has created hundreds of painting works, over ten academic works (including five personal monographs) so far.

Research Fields

Formal Language of Modern Painting

Academic Standpoints

The basic education of arts aims to provide all students with opportunities to participate in, evaluate and experience arts because this is the right and obligation of all students (including non-art students). The previous basic art education is just limited to art appreciation and art skills without taking the students into full consideration, which is deemed as a serious flaw in our current art education system and hinders the realization of talent cultivation objectives for the school and the whole nation. This is because that one who does not know how to select, judge and evaluate the art will fail to know how to select, judge and evaluate his/her own work and life. The basic art education is not a simple general knowledge popularization or skill training, but a major issue to realize the communications between man and man, man and society as well as man and nature, cultivate the ability to analyze and solve the problem, and strengthen personal character and confidence or even the cultural image of a nation through the arts. Now our country advocates the construction of Harmonious Society, which is comprised of numerous harmonious individuals, and therefore, our school should cultivate not only artists, but also those who are ready to think in an artistic way.

Academic Achievements

Li Mu has long been dedicated to the basic art teaching practice and research, and he has keen insights in the basic art teaching. He holds the opinion that the basic art teaching should be modernization-oriented, people-oriented and be away from the trend of vocational education. It is necessary to deeply explore the past, the present and the future of today’s Chinese art education based on the modern art theory. His representative works include What You See Does Not Matter, What You Know and What You Think, In Face of Colors, A Dialogue with Tsinghua University Art Teaching and Painting You Do Not Know among others. These academic works are deemed distinctive for the research, discussion, and experiment of the basic art education. Based on the current art education system, he puts forward the viewpoints, practice and theoretical basis of Tsinghua University basic art teaching in a comprehensive, open and innovative way, presents our teaching results to readers in a unique way, and shows the teaching process involving exploration mentality, practice experience and conflict & contradiction of our teachers and students. These works are not only the comprehensive summary of the current teaching practice and theoretical research in national fine arts academies, but also the positive revelation and reference to the development of the art education in the future. Many academic standpoints and artistic viewpoints in these works are put forward by Li Mu based on many years of art teaching and creation, and the selected pictures deriving from his demonstration works and students’ innovative works in the actual teaching process. All these have tremendous influences in the art education field.

Li Mu has not only been engaging in teaching, but also been dedicated to the painting creation. He exerts his utmost effort to explore the influences of western modern art on Chinese modern culture as well as the manifestation of the art ontology language based on the inheritance of the art tradition in the Academy of Arts & Design, Tsinghua University. He has held his solo exhibitions for over ten times at home and abroad, and has participated in many important art exhibition activities at home and abroad for many times.

Courses Taught

Courses for undergraduate students: Sketching, Coloration, Visual Language, Social Practice, Modern Modeling Art

Courses for graduate students: Research on Modern Art Language Practice

Core Course for Tsinghua University Quality Education: Eastern and Western Modern Arts