Zhou Jinhua

Zhou Jinhua

1978
Born in Deyang, China

2002
Sichuan Institute of Fine Arts, Chongqing, China

2007
Sovereign Asian Art Prize, Hong Kong
Lives and workes in Beijing and Chongqing, China

Zhou Jinhua uses the medium of painting and expands its frontiers through the use of unconventional canvases, from the walls it is hung on to wooden boards, bricks and tiles, or even chopping boards. Topics range from forced demolition, to industrialization and pollution, to the responses to natural catastrophes or accidents. They exemplify conflicts between social classes and confrontations between the powerful and the disadvantaged in Mainland China, despite the political slogans advocating harmony. The minuteness and humbleness of the human subjects are likened to the lowest rung of the Chinese society; they are abandoned, can be trampled on and ignored, yet they also carry a strong sense of resilience and can even retaliate if threatened. The people depicted in his works are often from the grassroots level, only their functionality seems to be taken into account in today’s Chinese society, despite how essential they are to the social edifice. Neither their identity nor personality matter, hence the minute rendering of these characters by the artist, but while they are commonly considered dispensable they are crucial to contemporary Chinese society. The fragility of the minute people in some works is further exaggerated through disproportion with other elements such as oversized birds, dead or fighting, or clouds. Such motifs are purposely depicted in a massive scale in comparison to the minute human beings who seem ominous and gloomy.