Viewing: 6 September 18 – 21:00
FIRST UK EXHIBITION FOR CHINESE IMPRESSIONIST ARTIST
Celebrated Chinese artist Zhao Zhu is exhibiting his work for the
first time in the UK after successful art shows in the National Art
Museum of China in Beijing and in Shanghai.
His exhibition, Face to Face, opens at View Two Gallery at 23 Mathew
Street, Liverpool, with a private viewing at 6pm on Thursday,
Zhao Zhu will unveil his latest work at the opening, a portrait of Mr
Brian Wong, regarded as Liverpool’s own ‘Mr Chinatown’.
He will remain as artist in residence at View Two until the end of
October, giving lovers of impressionist portraits a chance to closely
watch him at work.
The 48 years old artist from Guizhou Province teaches art at Guiyang
University in the province’s capital city.
Inspired by the great oil masters of the western world, particularly
Lucien Freud style of thickly impastoed portraits, Zhao Zhu has
developed a style fusing impressionism with Chinese characteristics.
Since arriving in Liverpool he has already completed paintings of
gallery owner, the renowned architect Ken Martin and Liverpool
businessman David Doyle
Typically he completes his works on four feet square canvases in a
matter of hours.
Zhao Zhu’s interest in art developed as a 10 year old when he
sketched people, still life and landscapes. In 1983 he won a place at
China Central Academy of Fine Art in Beijing, described as China’s
most prestigious centre for education in the arts.
Zhao Zhu said: “Oil painting was introduced into China from the
western world and I was impressed by the great masters. I adore the
work of Lucien Freud and during my studies and my practice I was able
to develop my own distinctive style.
“I look at my subjects from eye to eye and from heart to heart and
capture what I see on the canvas. My aim is to capture the whole
character of the person in my work.”
Zhao Zhu’s work, featuring mainly paintings of Chinese people, won
acclaim during his exhibitions in China.
His residency in Liverpool has given him first chance to capture
westerners in his distinctive style.
“I chose Liverpool because of the city’s links with China,
particularly the sister links between Liverpool and Shanghai.”
Gallery owner Ken Martin said: “When I first saw the work of Zhao Zhu
I was amazed and impressed. He is an incredibly talented artist. I sat
for two hours and he spent so much time seemingly deep in thought as
his brush moved across his canvas. He just observed me objectively and
dispassionately and within two hours he had created a painting of me
that just has to be seen. It is incredible. He works very quickly and
paints with a real emotion. I feel very lucky to have this gifted
artist in residence at View Two.”
Gallery manager Jamie Burns will be organising a number of social
events and gatherings centred around Zhao Zhu in the coming weeks.
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