Zhou Chunya, an acclaimed Chinese contemporary painter and sculptor, brings his solo show in Hong Kong. He has worked on wide-range of subject matters including some of his best-known series like ‘green dog’, ‘rock’ and ‘peach blossom’. We take this special opportunity to talk to him about his artwork creation as well as his thoughts about the significant increase in the value of his works in the market.
Chinese contemporary artist Zhou Chunya brings his solo show in Hong Kong
Q: Why do you collaborate with Amanda Gallery to present this exhibition?
Zhou: Before I met Amanda Wei in person, I had heard that she bought a lot of my works at auctions and those are works that I really like. It’s like I met someone who understands me. Then I got acquainted with her and learnt about her gallery in Hong Kong. Amanda is a collector and she is interested in promoting art and culture, so we came up with this collaboration.
Amanda Wei, the founder of Amanda Wei Gallery
Amanda is a collector of Zhou’s artwork. In an auction last year, she spent nearly HK$10m on Zhou's painting A Lying Woman, Black Stone
See more on: Chinese Female Collector Amanda Wei Talks About Her HK$10m Zhou Chunya's Painting
Q: Why did you choose peach blossom to be the theme of this show?
Zhou: Peach blossom is an auspicious subject matter that people like a lot. I hope these peach blossom artworks can give people positive energy.
Q: This exhibition showcases your works in various mediums. Can you tell us about your ideas?
Zhou: I made all these artworks especially for this exhibition. These oil on canvas and paper works are in relatively small sizes due to the limited gallery space.
Red Bridge in Slender West Lake. 2018. Acrylic, mineral colour on paper. 45 x 64cm
Flower Blossom on Rock. Finished in 2018. Bronze sculpture. 86 x 76 x 52 cm
Amanda Wei Gallery
Zhou: After all, it’s not easy to find a large place in Hong Kong, so I made my paintings and sculptures in a small size. Maybe it’s easier for people to view the artworks. Whether they are big or small, they all took me the same effort to create them.
Q: You are popularly known for your iconic series such as ‘green dog’, ‘peach blossom’ and ‘rock’. Which is your favourite one?
Zhou: I started painting since I was a teenager and I have touched upon many subject matters. From the Tibetan series during the 70s to 80s, to my ‘rock’, ‘human bodies’ series during the 90s that I started after studying abroad in Germany. These are subject matters that I like, together with the green dog series that came after. I painted green dog series for almost a decade.
Zhou: Then I moved on to peach blossom and I found that people like my works of peach blossom, probably due to its auspicious connotation, as well as its vibrant colours. Besides, it associates with human’s feelings.
Q: Are you going to focus on painting peach blossom?
Zhou: I am not a painter specialising in painting peach blossom and my subject matters have been changing over time. I am growing interest in painting garden views. Maybe I will find my interest in landscape paintings in the future. What matters most is not the subject matter, but my own life experience and my passion for life. And with this thought, I develop a new interest in other subject matters.
Zhou: In general, peach blossom is not my favourite subject matter. My favourite one is yet to come. My favourite one could be the new subject matter that I am about to work on.
Q: Do you have any pressure on your art creation now that your works are highly sought after at the market?
Zhou: There’s no pressure. When I created those paintings that now sold for high prices, I didn’t expect the value would go up so high. I sold them at extremely cheap prices. I don't think about the selling prices when I paint. My only focus is to create good work that reflects my true feelings. I think a market shouldn’t have any pressure on an artist. Once an artist finishes an artwork, it’s a normal process that the work goes into the art market for transactions. It’s in one way a motivation to artists as you should be happy that people appreciate your artworks and they are willing to pay for them.
Zhou Chunya’s China Scenery (1993) was sold for RMB 44.27m at China Guardian in Beijing in 2017
Zhou Chunya’s Three TT (2007) was sold for RMB 23.57m at Poly Auction in Beijing in 2107
Zhou Chunya’s Lakeside (2015) was sold for RMB 14.49m at Poly Council auction in Beijing in 2017
Zhou: In another way it can be pressure. But it does no harm. You should be able to deal with it if you are an excellent artist. Artists shouldn’t be frightened by pressure or let it get in your way of creating art. Take myself as an example, I didn’t know how much my paintings can sell for, but I still decided to devote myself to art simply because I love it.
Zhou Chunya’s Hong Kong Solo Exhibition
Dates: 20 December 2018 – 15 February 2019
Venue: Amanda Wei Gallery
Address: Shop B, Lower Ground Floor, Wilson House, 19-27 Wyndham Street, Central
Enquiry: 852 2656 2908 / firstname.lastname@example.org