Marvelous Zhou Bros Art from Chicago

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Marvelous Zhou Bros Art from Chicago


Friedman Fine Art and are proud to represent the marvelous work of the Zhou Brothers.


The Zhou Brothers are Chinese-American artists living and working in the Bridgeport neighborhood of Chicago. Before leaving China in 1986, the Zhou Brothers had become nationally recognized contemporary artists with shows in the National Museum of Art, Beijing; the Museum of Art, Nanjing; the Shanghai Museum of Art; the Guiling Art Museum; and the Guanxi Art Museum in Naning.


Chicago Fine Art
Open My Door No. 37 Oil on Lead and Silk 95 in. x 102 in.

The Brothers work collaboratively on each piece they create, often communicating in a dream dialogue. In 1973 DaHuang and ShanZuo finished their first painting together, The Wave, and have created art in multiple media together since. Their live painting performances allow their audience to see their unique communication and techniques.


In 1986, when the Brothers moved to the United States, they settled in the Bridgeport neighborhood where they retain a private residence and studio. The Zhou Brothers founded the Zhou B Art Center in 2004, hoping to create a place in Bridgeport for artists and international dialogues.


“Looking at a Zhou Brothers painting is like drinking water from a well. The well is deep, as deep and true as human experience itself. Symbols and images 10,000 years old and yet so modern, Eastern motifs and Western abstraction – the wholeness of it beguiles the imagination.”


Shan Zuo and Da Huang’s Artistic Vision:

“Chinese critics have termed the brothers’ approach “Ganjue Zhui” [“Gahn-jweh joo-ee”]. Any attempt to translate this phrase is fraught with difficulties. The most literal translation would be “Feelingism,” but “Intuitionism” is in some ways less misleading. What both these terms suggest could be called a Taoist vision of the artistic process. Taoist language delights in paradox. Shan Zuo and Da Huang speak of the art of paintings as a language for saying the inexpressible. Feelings or intuitive perceptions that are beyond the reach of words may yet be captured on the canvas.


Chicago Art
Double Stars Mixed Media on Canvas 94 in. x 82 in.

This could be seen as a key to viewing not only their art, but a good deal of other abstract or non-representational art as well. We must not look for a “translation” of the artwork into the realm of ordinary language discourse. No full verbal explication is possible, but the link between the original artistic inspiration and the response in the viewer occurs in the realm of feeling or intuition.


Shan Zuo and Da Huang spoke of one painting as follows: “In some abstract painting, life is black, pain is red, and hope is white. Another way to express profundity is with a curving and twisting line.” Merely by following this slight clue, one begins to see more clearly into the world of such canvases as Dream of Chicago, Man and Nature, Peace Symbol, and Life Symphony. Is that to say that given a full list of such “equations” one would understand their paintings after the fashion of someone solving a system of algebraic equations? The brothers might well answer a question like this with a quote from Chuang Tzu, the Taoist philosopher from the fourth century B.C.: “The white of a white horse is not [simply] white.” That is one classic statement of the true Taoist “theory of relativity.” You cannot take clues such as “pain is red, hope is white” as universally valid statements even within the realm of the Zhou Brothers’ own work. In another context, the colors might well carry different meanings. To quote Chuang Tzu once more: “There is nothing in the world bigger than the tip of an autumn hair, and Mount T’ai is tiny. Heaven and earth were born at the same time I was, and ten thousand things are one with me.” Only in this mode of perception is it possible to give a few square feet of painted canvas titles like Sun and Peace Bird or Dance of Eternity.


There is also a Taoist element in the brothers’ sense of the link between tradition and creativity. They believe that, dating back to imperial times, Chinese art has had a tradition whose weight and prestige tended to stifle creativity by making imitation of the masters a criterion of value in itself. Schooled in reverence for the great masters and coming from a culture that traditionally imagined the golden age as a lost world of the past, a lost world of which the present is but a badly flawed imitation, it has only been the greatest of Chinese artists that possessed the confidence to change the very language of art in order to say something new. For the Zhou Brothers, as for all the most insightful of creative minds throughout Chinese history, tradition is something that must be so internalized and assimilated that it becomes invisible or transparent. True artistic worth is only to be found in the original creative sparks that are refracted through the lens of tradition. Although the Huashan materials are a point of meditation and departure for Shan Zuo and Da Huang, the Zhou Brothers are painting from themselves.”


If you would like to view the works of the Zhou Brothers and other local contemporary Chicago artists please follow this link Chicago artists.


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