Gao Xingjian is a painter and writer who was awarded the Nobel Literature Prize in 2000. He started painting as a child, an activity which led him to the literary field, writing novels, poems plays, and even musical works; he was the French translator and playwright in the Popular Arts Theatre in Beijing. His paintings are neither figurative nor abstract, but they play with lights and shades in a way that sometimes one can perceive silhouettes of figures dancing in the distance. Xingjian has described his works in ink as a self-purification. After having suffered political persecution and having being forced to destroy his works during the Cultural Revolution, Gao Xingjian leaves China for an exiled life in Paris, 1987.