ZHOU BROTHERS ART
Shan Zuo and Dahuang Zhou were raised in a household of educators in Guangxi in Southern China. Born in the 1950’s they showed an affinity for painting at a young age. Their grandparents were collectors of Chinese traditional brush paints and calligraphy. This work had a profound influence on their future style.
In 1966, the Chinese Cultural Revolution brought a significant change to their lives. Their family was forced to burn books and works of art under the strict government sanctions on all creative efforts. “The Cultural Revolution had become a very strong impact in our early memory and you open more of your creativity.” DaHuang remembers.
The turmoil of the revolution left a deep scar and separated the brothers for several years. By 1973 they reunited at their Grandmother’s house. Before she died she left them with a mantra: “To become an artist you must possess the highest spirit.”
That year they collaborated on a significant painting The Wave and signed as the Zhou Brothers for the first time starting their legacy. After 10 long years the Cultural Revolution ended opening up new creative avenues. The brothers’ returned to the Huashan Mountains and work on four large scroll paintings. They direct their attention toward the origin of Chinese art and culture. The series included Song of Life and Cradle of Life which explore the time and spirit of the beginning of their civilization. These studies influence their work for many years to come.
DIVERGENT MINDS: LIFE TEMPTATION
By 1985 the brothers’ work had attracted worldwide attention. Critics hailed the Zhou Brothers’ art as the most intuitive and sensitive combination of Eastern and Western Values and spirit to date. Their travels took them to exhibit in Italy, Germany, Greece, and Japan. They arrived in the United States in November for their first exhibit at the East West Contemporary Art Gallery in Chicago.
To expand their influence on the world stage they immigrated to the US and settle in the Bridgeport neighborhood where they still live and work today. In 1994, the Zhou Brothers were commissioned to create a 30,000-square-foot painted canvas for the International Art Exposition at the end of Chicago’s Navy Pier.
Their performance was a natural outcome of their many years of collaboration. Shan Zuo and Da Huang have developed their own language: without words their exchange of ideas and motions is like a dance. This process starts with their understanding of the reason behind the performance. They begin to create sketches and have discussions about the direction to take. As natural as any painting all the pieces fit together. Once they take the stage their goal is ingrained, the music starts and they begin to create.