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Details
ZHOU CHUNYA
(Chinese, B. 1955)
Figure
dated '1994'; signed in Chinese (lower right)
oil on canvas
72.5 x 60.3 cm. (28 1/2 x 23 3/4 in.)
Painted in 1994
Provenance
Private Collection, Asia

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Eric Chang
Eric Chang

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Lot Essay

Audacious variety in style and consistent endeavour in merging Western style with Chinese traditional culture might be the best words to introduce Zhou Chunya's rich oeuvre ranging from Tibetan figures and landscapes, Rock series, Green Dog series to recent Peach Blossom series. Zhou's artistic career spanning five decades from the late 1970s to the present proves his unparalleled innate talent and trained dexterity in handling oil paints among his contemporary Chinese artists. Zhou's genuine spiritual freedom and instinctive passion for art naturally lead him to travel many different parts of the world and create diversity in styles and themes directly reflecting his personal life experiences. Despite the constant developments in style, Zhou's paintings consistently display his devotion to traditional Chinese art, while absorbing Western practices, especially German neo-Expressionism.
Figure (Lot 416), belongs to his Rock series which Zhou developed since 1992 after returning to his hometown Chengdu from his studies in Germany, is one of the best examples to examine Zhou's genuine talent as a painter in many respects. At the first glance, the painting mesmerizes the viewer with powerful brushstrokes within the multiple layers of thick and saturated monotonous green colour and enriched textures. Upon close examination the painting unveils Zhou's thoughtful elaboration in creating his own expressionistic style through carefully choosing a theme of human figure and expressing it in solid and concrete forms resembling to mountain rock or as if human transforming into rock. In so doing, Zhou combines human and nature in one form following traditional Chinese thought of oneness of two elements, while instantly capturing viewers' eyes with compelling colour and dynamic brushstrokes regardless their cultural backgrounds.

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