JOURNEY TO ART: ZHOU BROTHERS
The two brothers created their first collaborative work, The Wave, and for the first time sign it as Zhou Brothers.
ShanZuo moved to Shanghai to begin his first formal art studies at Shanghai Theatre Academy (上海戏剧学院), starting his career as a professional artist.
DaHuang enrolled as an auditor in ShanZuo’s program.
The Zhou Brothers had their first group exhibition, Guangxi Youth Art Exhibition, at Art Museum Guangxi, Nanning.
oil on canvas,1976, 32*214 in
oil on canvas, 1976, 32*155 in.
The Zhou Brothers at their first exhibition at the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts (中央工艺美术学院), Beijing.
The Zhou Brothers view their exhibition with mentor Zhang Ding (张仃), director of the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts.
They finished a large series of paintings entitled From Heaven to Earth with which they started to define their own personal language in painting. A part of the series is now in the collection of the National Museum of Art.
The painting Robe with a Hundred Bird Feathers was awarded the Creation Prize in the National Painting Exhibition. They completed two more paintings entitled Death Bears ( is this Bares??) New Life and Hints of Dawn in the Dark Night.
The Guangxi Huashan Mural Painting Exhibition was held at the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts gallery from October 14 to 16, 1982. The Zhou Brothers displayed paintings that comprised a draft for a larger mural project, mounted as four large horizontal scrolls.
The Zhou Brothers with mentor Li Keran(李可染) in Beijing, 1985
The Zhou Brothers with mentor Liu Haisu (刘海粟) in Beijing, 1985
Light of Wisdom, oil on plaster, 1984, 144*288 in., Chinese Museum of History, Beijing
The Zhou Brothers moved to Beijing to start their studies for mural and fresco painting at the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts.
The Zhou Brothers were commissioned to make a mural, Light of Wisdom, at the Chinese Museum of History, Beijing.
The Zhou Brother’s new Huashan exhibition opened at the National Art Museum of China, Beijing. Zhang Ding inscribed the title for the show, Guangxi Huashan Mural Art Exhibition (广西花山壁画艺术展览). Their mentor Li Keran (李可染) saw a preview of the exhibition and stated that the brothers’ paintings reached a very high artistic and technical standard. Even, Wu Zuoren (吴作人), chairman of the national Chinese Artists Association (中国美术家协会), came to the show and invited the brothers to visit his home. The ninety-year-old art educator Liu Haisu (刘海粟) was extremely excited by what he saw at the Zhou brothers’ exhibition, writing a calligraphic inscription in the gallery praising the brothers as “open-minded and broad-thinking, creating a new trend (环玮博达，开创一代新风).”
From this time on, they had an active exhibition schedule. Their first international exhibition was held in Japan, followed by shows in Italy, Germany, and Greece in the same year.
The Dream of Chicago, mixed media on canvas, 1987, 84*188 in., collection of Tishman Speyer Properties, Mid Continental Plaza, Chicago.
The Zhou Brothers left for Chicago via Shanghai and had their first solo show at the East-West Contemporary Art Gallery. They also organized an international Art Exchange Center and began to exhibit internationally in Italy, West Germany, Greece, and Japan.
In July, they held their fifth show at East-West Contemporary Art. This July 1987 show brought many good reviews and positive public response. Chicago’s ABC television affiliate introduced their work in the program What’s Happening in Chicago, and CBS conducted a broadcast interview with them. The brothers were very encouraged by this positive response and created a new mural-sized creation entitled The Dream of Chicago.
A fifteen-piece series, Spirit of the Earth, was shown at the Chicago Cultural Center. At the C. G. Jung Institute in Evanston, Illinois, the Zhou Brothers exhibited their work and conducted their first public workshop, “Primitive Symbolism and the Modern Art World.”
Life Symphony, mixed media on canvas, 1990, 100*280 in., collection of Tishman Speyer Properties, Mid Continental Plaza, Chicago.
After an international competition Eternity was commission by the Hong Kong Central Plaza, then the tallest building in Asia, as its lobby decoration. They started the Zhou Brothers Art Foundation. Moreover, they accepted an invitation from the Ministry of Culture and returned to China for the first time since their move to America for an official visit to lecture at the National Fine Art Academy. They also had an exhibition at Connaught Brown Gallery in London.
Weingarten Galleries, based in Los Angeles, presented their work both there and in New York. In collaboration with East-West Contemporary Art, Weingarten published the Zhou Brothers’ first English-language catalog. They also showed in both university and public galleries in Florida, Indiana, California, Massachusetts, and New York, including Smith Art Museum in Springfield, Massachusetts. They also showed for the first time in Taipei. They purchased a studio building in the Bridgeport area of Chicago, making it possible to begin hosting visiting artists.
The Zhou Brothers exhibited their works with good reviews around the world, including Paris, London, Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Cologne, Madrid, Tokyo, and Hong Kong, as well as continuing to exhibit in American cities – Chicago; New York; Los Angeles; Portland; Dubuque; Miami; and Houston. Their Dream of Chicago and Life Symphony were acquired for permanent public display at 55 East Monroe Street in Chicago.
Crossing the Street, mixed media on canvas, 1994, 110*78 in., collection of Karen Young
The Zhou Brothers’ exhibition opening at the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, 1994
The director of the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, Dr. Dorit Marhenke, addresses the audience during the opening reception, 1994.
The Zhou Brothers with Chinese Ambassador to Germany, Mei Zhaorong (梅兆荣), at the opening of the exhibition at the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, 1994
Chicago International Art Expo, 1994
From May 13 to May 15, 1994, the Zhou Brothers undertook a huge performance art project to celebrate the fifteenth anniversary of the Chicago International Art Exposition. They were invited to make a large installation, which they called Wind Wisdom and executed at the east end of Chicago’s Navy Pier. More than a thousand people participated in this painting/performance/installation project.
Eternity was finished and shipped to Hong Kong. The brothers installed their first show at the Nahan Gallery in New York and the exhibition sold out in the first week.
During an exhibition at the Mandarin Fine Art Gallery in Hong Kong the Brothers revealed that the commission Eternity at the Central Plaza Building has been removed and this caused a big controversy in the media. The Brothers had one of their most productive work periods in preparation of the traveling museum show for Germany and Hungary. East West Publishing produced the catalogue "The Zhou Brothers" with the first full scale monograph written by Gerald Nordland that was published in the West.
The Zhou Brothers had their exhibition, entitled Crossing the Street, at the Kunsthalle in Darmstadt, Germany. The Show exhibited 180 works and traveled to Staedtische Museum in Salzgitter, Germany, and the Ludwig Museum in Budapest. The Kunsthalle Darmstadt published the Catalog associated with this exhibition, Zhou Brothers – Chinesische Symbioses, Vier Hände, Zwei Brüder, Ein Gemälde.
Their father passes away in China. Feingarten Galleries, Los Angeles, California, presents the work of the brothers at the Armory Art Show in New York City and in a large one-person exhibition at their gallery in Los Angeles where they show paintings as well as sculptures. Feingarten Galleries co-publishes the first catalogue in the West with East West Contemporary Art Gallery "Zhou Brothers: A Retrospective." In China their sister Daway publishes a 535 page book The Narrow Door: The Biography of the Zhou Brothers. The Zhou Brothers have the first exhibition in Taiwan at Hsiung Shih Gallery.
The Zhou Brothers at the opening reception of the exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Budapes.
The Zhou Brothers’ installation at Art Frankfurt with Galerie Wolfhard Viertel, 1995
The Zhou Brothers at their painting performance at Nahan Galleries, New York, 1997
The Zhou Brothers with their students in Germany.
The Zhou Brothers with students.
At the Invitation of the city of Oldenburg, Germany, the brothers created a public sculpture for the city square in conjunction with an exhibition at the Kunstverein Oldenburg. In the winter, they carved thirty large wooden sculptures in a studio in Oldenburg, including City Angel, exhibited at the Kunstverein Rotenburg; Silent Oath, Shown at Art Frankfurt; and Silent Romance and Sprout. For their great achievement, the brothers received an award from the Kunsthalle in Darmstadt, Germany. The brothers also gave a successful painting performance at the Portland Art Museum, Oregon.
The Zhou Brothers accepted an invitation to teach at the International Academy of Art and Design in Hamburg, Germany. They also created a series of sculptures called Times Square and completed a steel sculpture for the Francis W. Parker School in Chicago.
The Zhou Brothers traveled to Beijing to cast twelve life-sized bronze sculptures at the Central Academy of Fine Arts (中央美术学院). They also gave a series of lectures at the School of Design at Putnam House, and have held more than fifty solo exhibitions in Germany, England, Hungary, Switzerland, the Netherlands, Austria, and Russia, besides more than twenty shows in the United States. Moreover, they gave a performance at Nahan Galleries in New York.
The Zhou Brothers with U.S. president Bill Clinton.
The Zhou Brothers with German president Johannes Rau at the World Economic Forum.
The Zhou Brothers with Swiss president Adolf Ogi and forum founder Klaus Schwab.
Since 1998, the Zhou Brothers have taught summer classes in painting and drawing called “Painting: Feeling is Liberty” at the Summer Academy of Fine Arts (Sommerakademie) in Salzburg. Meanwhile, they created Life as Music and gave a successful painting performance in Salzburg. What’s more, they created eight large sculptures in Berlin. The sculpture Balance was purchased by the Paul Klee Museum in Bern, Switzerland.
The Zhou Brothers worked mostly on architectural concepts and plans for the monument Nan Jin Man. They viewed architecture as sculpture and worked on proposals for Paris, The Golden Ring, and Chicago, The Wind Tower, none of which are realized.
The Zhou Brothers’ most prestigious painting performance was held at Davos, Switzerland. They were invited to perform at the opening reception of the World Economic Forum.
The Zhou Brothers with Barbara Wally, director of the Sommerakademie, Salzburg.
The Zhou Brothers with art dealer Waler Bischoff at the Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow, Russia.
The Zhou Brothers had dinner with Chinese President Jiang Zemin (江泽民) at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, Chicago, 2003
The Sommerakademie in Salzburg where the brothers exhibited at the Galerie im Traklhaus published the catalogue Open my Door. The Smart Museum in Chicago added the sculpture Life Temptation to its collection. The series Open my Door was exhibited at the Villa Haiss das Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst, Germany, where 8000 Zhou Brothers drawings were scattered from the sky during the opening reception. The Zhou Brothers Art Foundation found a permanent home in a building the brothers purchased close to the studio.
The Brothers gave a painting performance with red wine at the Galerie Rackey in Bad Honnef, Germany. A second performance was given at the Pacifica Institute in Santa Barbara, California. The Brothers attended a dinner for the President of China, Jiang Ze Min (江泽民), during his visit to Chicago. The Brothers showed two pieces at the first Guangzhou Triannial (首届广州三年展) and the Guangdong Art Museum (广东美术馆) purchased the painting Open my Door. The Ministry of Culture of Moscow, Russia, invited the Zhou Brothers to exhibit at the Central Exhibition Hall in Moscow.
The Zhou Brothers set up a performance space for the Zhou Brothers Art Foundation at 3302 S. Morgan Street in Chicago adjacent to the sculpture garden, which had been established in 1991. The first exhibition of Zhou Brothers works at the Foundation had the widest time range of any previous show and the exhibition travels to Austria and Germany. The Zhou Bothers also had an exhibition and painting performance at Drexel University in Philadelphia.
The Zhou Brothers acknowledge the Immigrant Achievement Award, Chicago, 2004
The Zhou Brothers purchased an 85,000-square-foot warehouse building in Chicago to establish the Zhou B Art Center. They were honored with the Immigrant Achievement Award from the American Immigration Law Foundation in Washington DC. Production for the documentary film The Zhou Brothers started in Chicago and traced their developments in China, America, and Europe. The retrospective “Zhou Brothers: 30 Years of Collaboration” opened at the Elmhurst Art Museum and the Chicago Cultural Center concurrently.The Zhou Brothers purchased an 85,000-square-foot warehouse building in Chicago to establish the Zhou B Art Center. They were honored with the Immigrant Achievement Award from the American Immigration Law Foundation in Washington DC. Production for the documentary film The Zhou Brothers started in Chicago and traced their developments in China, America, and Europe. The retrospective “Zhou Brothers: 30 Years of Collaboration” opened at the Elmhurst Art Museum and the Chicago Cultural Center concurrently.
The Zhou Brothers created a large monumental sculpture called The Ring of Life in Switzerland for the Swiss paraplegic center in Nottwill. The sculpture was exhibited in September 2005. The Brothers also created a series of outdoor sculptures in their studio in Paris. The Brothers established a sculpture park in Michigan and they received the Lincoln Award from the Lincoln Academy.
They finished 12 steel sculptures in Michigan and transported them to their sculpture park. They also received visits from a group of Chinese Contemporary poets, as well as some famous Chinese Contemporary 6th Generation directors. The Brothers began preparation for the upcoming “The Zhou Brothers: 30 Years Retrospect Exhibition” in the National Art Museum of China and were interviewed by the New York World Journal. The Brothers also gave a painting performance titled Life Temptation at the Chinese Film Festival at Columbia University in New York.
The director of the National Art Museum of China, Fan Di’an (范迪安), visited the Zhou Brothers in Chicago from Beijing for the preparation of "The Zhou Brother 30 Years Retrospect Exhibition." The Chinese Southern Weekly published "The Return of The Kings" (on the Zhou Brother’s upcoming exhibition). The Chinese Beijing Sanlian Publisher printed the book The Zhou Brother 30 Years Retrospect. Written by the writer Xu Xiao, the Chinese Writer’s Publisher printed the book The Zhou Brothers—The Legend of a pair of Chinese Artists Concurring the World. The International Summer Academy of Fine Art in Salzburg published the book The Zhou Brother--10 years in Salzburg. "The Zhou Brother 30 Years Retrospect Exhibition" was opened in Beijing. The National Art Museum of China collects the artwork The Quiet Romance from the Zhou Brothers. The opening dinner was held at the National Art Museum of China. CCTV 4 broadcasted both episodes of The Legend of the Zhou Brother. "The Zhou Brothers-10 years in Salzburg" was opened in Galerie im Traklhaus, Salzburg. The Zhou Brothers were invited to do painting performance at Zhongshan Hall in the Forbidden City (紫禁城) in Beijing.
The Zhou Brothers were invited to do a painting performance in the United Nation Headquarters. "The Zhou Brothers Art Exhibition – A New Beginning" was opened at the Rock Ford Art Museum. The Zhou Brothers gave a painting performance at the Coronado Theater. The famous rock musician Rick Nielsen accompanied the performance with his music. From September to November, the Zhou Brothers created a body of work in their studio in Paris. The work was transported to Galerie Nero, Wiesbadab and Villa Haiss, the Museum fuer Zeitgenossische Kunst in Germany.
The Brothers finished their last year of teaching in Salzburg in the continuous 12 years of teaching history. In total, the Brothers taught over 450 students from all over the world. They celebrated the five-year anniversary of the Zhou B Art Center. The Zhou Brothers were invited to create a painting for the Northern Trust Headquarters in Chicago.
The sculptures Time Gate and Life were collected by the Beijing Zhong Kun Group (中坤集团). In December, the Zhou Brothers received an invitation from President Barack Obama to create the painting Eight US Presidents and the Great Wall as an American National Gift to Chinese President Hu Jintao (胡锦涛).
On January 18th, the Zhou Brothers visited the White House by the invitation of the President Barack Obama. The Zhou Brothers met both President Barack Obama and President Hu Jintao. Later in the evening, the White House TV station interviewed the Zhou Brothers. They created a new series of work TIME: Portraits of History.
The Zhou Brothers were interviewed by China's Phoenix TV Station (凤凰卫视)’s program “A Date with Luyu (鲁豫有约)”. During the interview, they gave a painting performance, Life Temptation. The piece was auctioned for ￥10 million Yuan and the proceeds were donated to their hometown Gunagxi. The Brothers created the series of work Li - River of Souls during their visit in Li Jiang, Guangxi. Guangxi TV Station (广西卫视) and CCTV (中央电视台) produced the documentary The Zhou Brothers Documentary in China, New York and Chicago. Moreover, the Zhou Brothers created a 50-feet monumental sculpture for China called The Sun Bird.