All of us use chalk to draw hop-scotch squares or silly smiley faces but, very few know how to use it like Cong Langui, China's chalk art master. What is even more amazing is that he has garnered all this talent on his own, as a way to surmount the hardships, life has thrown at him.
Born in Shandong, China, Cong Lui was just sixteen when he was diagnosed with bone cancer and had to get his left leg amputated. However, he didn't spend time wallowing in self-pity, but instead, took comfort by painting replicas of world famous artworks. And, since he did not have much money to spend, he chose chalk as his medium and the pavement as his canvas.
At the age of twenty-one, the budding artist decided to leave home and explore the country. Over the years, the now 48-year old, has been to almost every province in China, except for Tibet and Xinjiang. He lives off tips that are handed to him by the numerous fans that gather to admire his work. And, while he has become an expert at some of the most famous works of art like the Mona Lisa, which he has re-created more than 300 times, he is constantly trying to improve and refresh his talent, by visiting museums in every city in visits.
While Cong aspires to study painting with mediums like oil, water colors and ink, he is unable to fulfill his dream, because he barely earns enough to keep him going from day to day - Despite that, when an earthquake rocked China's Sichuan Province in 2008, this generous man donated all his earnings to the Hubei Red Cross to help the victims. Pretty cool!