Born in Shanghai in 1972, Maleonn studied fine arts from a young age. He graduated from Shanghai Huashan Art School and the Fine Arts College of Shanghai University. Since then, he has worked as an artistic supervisor and director in commercial video.
In 2003, Maleonn began to explore photography, organizing over 30 solo exhibitions around the world and participating in more than 100 important group exhibitions of photography and contemporary art. In 2012, he created the artistic project Studio Mobile, an ephemeral photography studio in a truck and station wagon. Over 10 months, he traveled to 35 cities in China, capturing more than 30,000 wedding photos and family portraits for 1,600 strangers for free, with more than 20,000 participants. From 2010 to 2014, he published two collections of essays: The Confessions and Confessions of an Undercover Man, both of which aroused wide interest. From 2014 to 2017, in order to pay tribute to his father’s suffering from Alzheimer’s, he spent three years directing a large-scale play entitled “Dad’s Time Machine,” featuring a human-sized puppet. This became the first Chinese work to be selected for the drama unit at the annual congress of the International Society for the Performing Arts (ISPA). In the second half of 2017, Maleonn returned to the field of photographic creation. In 2020, the documentary “Our Time Machine,” which was filmed during his drama creation, was nominated for Best Documentary at the American Gotham Awards. In 2021, “Our Time Machine” was again nominated for Best Cultural Documentary at the Emmy Awards.