Nurturing, human, noble

Painting exhibition

Zhou Qiaoyun

Solo Exhibition: Surge · Appear

Place: Shangyuan Museum of contemporary art, Exhibition hall, Beijing, China 


Portal to a world behind the art works

Surge · Appear

Exhibition review by Irina Ideas

Nurturing, human, noble, looking beyond the pain and straight into the eyes of transforming into the inevitable 

In Zhou Qiaoyun’s art, we are witnessing the most primordial but at the same time the most essential elements as we hurl into the future and yet again redefine and reinvent the meaning of being or becoming of a human. One can immediately imagine and create an analogue with a flourishing of the flower, the painful (for us humans – not so much for flowers as they don’t have neural receptors) and yet graceful and glorious process of transformation…. The becoming of a flower as it slowly sets in motion all the required chemistry that leads into patterns, a reflection of a sun, sometimes reflecting the stars in different shades, another times the petals are so elongated that they remind of the rays of light. In this spirit Zhao Qiaoyin’s deeply expressive technique touches in us the blooming, somewhat mysterious process of nurturing, especially in today’s world of self centered survival mechanism.

The question of nurturing which is so much more typical and associated to women then men, at least in larger percentage (primarily associated to children raising) at this point of our evolving civilization makes us question what is noble and truly human? To nurture, give, support and raise from the ashes the innocents of this world or to compete, crush by exploiting the weakness of the opponent in the right moment and make a progress by building an impenetrable shield against the world (be it through words or action), oblivious to the surrounding. I think that we all have found ourselves at either one or the other sides of this pendulum many times through life and this question is the one of identity with only conditional identification of what is right and what is wrong, because they both have a purpose. However, if we take a look at the patterns of our truly ancient past, the times of the Dinosaurs, it wasn’t the ruthlessness and skillful survival technique that made the life after the asteroid impact possible but the ability to nurture that opened a new chapter for the species underground, to flourish on this planet after the ages of darkness and humility. It was the ability to nurture in the hidden shelters of Earth’s crust that we still genetically remember from the creatures so insignificant at the time but possessing the super powers of nurturing and collecting for the future, thinking ahead.

Zhou Qiaoyun’s expression raises this subject, the trajectory of her artwork is rooted in the world and studies of flowers, the process of flourishing through the prism of traditional Chinese painting. Flowers, those perishable, impermanent reminders of wonder are so often perceived only in the domain of aesthetics, but this is an illusion, common to many areas with superficial effects. Once we go beyond the superficiality of perceiving the flower in this context, we discover that the power of analogy reaches far into the question of creation, birth, transformation, growth and a sacred return to the beginning, because the flower almost always leaves the seed, a ray of hope for the next generation to pick up where it left of if the environmental circumstances are right.

Sometimes in Zhou Qiaoyun’s paintings, the appearance of and a dominance of shades ranging from intense red to light red brings association to the comforting feeling relating to the circumstances that would allow the seed to grow back to the flower, reflecting the Mandelbrotian nature of the experience of life. The patterns in most of her paintings are creating a quality of floating in diverse directions, nurturing, tendering, making the world seem less hostile, they give solace, at the same time some of the larger scale paintings seem to make a statement that the life is not only about passive nurtured living, surrounded by the shield of the other or favorable circumstances planted by those before, but also about crystallizing the purpose. Finding the sacred symmetry that makes the flourishing possible.

At the end, the small events can make all the change, just a move of a finger, a wrong thought, an impulse, can distort a reality from a harmonious whole to a fragmented competition for space. Impossibility of becoming, because the greatest pain is the one caused to the living entity that can’t become what it is, but what the circumstances want it to become. These are all doubts and fears surrounding the pain of uncertain future, while nurturing yet another becoming of self or another, originally the self and another was once One. The pain of separation and the ultimate bliss of togetherness are two of the most powerful elements that are strongly communicated in Zhou Qiaoyun’s paintings, a reminder of the times before, sometimes in our own core when we knew that being human means being noble, nurture and make progress in a healthy balance of each other.



About Zhou Qiaoyun


In 1999, she graduated from the School of Fine Arts, Hunan Normal University with a bachelor’s degree in Traditional Chinese Painting


In 2006, she graduated from the School of Fine Arts, Hunan Normal University with a master’s degree in Traditional Chinese Flowers-and-birds Paintings


Now she is an associate professor in the School of Architecture and Art, Central South University and lives and works both in Beijing and Changsha

个展 Solo exhibitions
2018  三十六度九——周巧云作品展,物物空间,长沙

2018  Thirty-six Degrees of Nine—Exhibition of Zhou Qiaoyun’s Works, ARTOBJ, Changsha

2015  花·瘾——周巧云作品展,状态美术馆,长沙

2015  Flower & Addiction—Zhou Qiaoyun Works Exhibition, Zhuangtai Art Museum, Changsha

2014  幽·雅——周巧云作品展,藏福美术馆,长沙

2014  Tranquil & Elegant—Works exhibition of Zhou Qiaoyun, Cangfu Art Museum, Changsha

主要展览 Major exhibitions

2019  一张棉花纸,九层美术馆,北京2019  One Piece of Cotton Paper, Nine Storeys Museum,Beijing2019  上苑艺术馆2019国际创作计划开幕展,上苑艺术馆,北京2019  Opening Exhibition of 2019 International Creative Project of Shangyuan Art Museum, Shangyuan Art Museum, Beijing
2018  变量——湖南省第二届青年工笔画家提名展,美仑美术馆,长沙2018  Variable—The Second Nomination Exhibition of Young Meticulous Painters in Hunan Province, Meilun gallary, Changsha
2018  轻蔓计划——心语水墨女性艺术家邀请展,798蔓空间,北京2018  Light Tendril Plan—Xinyu Invitational Exhibition of Female Ink Painting Artists 798 Sprawl Space. Beijing
2018  色·渡——中日女性艺术邀请展,诚丰美术馆,珠海2018  Se & Du—Invitational Exhibition of Chinese and Japanese Feminist Art, Chengfeng art museum, Zhuhai
2018  艺与术·万物皆备——女艺术家与女设计师邀请展,厦门会展中心,厦门2018  The Art and Technique & Everything is Ready, Invitational Exhibition of Female Artists and Designers, Xiamen Exhibition Centre, Xiamen
2018  第八界富山国际现代美术展,日本富山国际美术馆,日本2018  The 8th Tomiyama International Modern Art Exhibition, Tomiyama International Art Museum, Japan
2017  中国工笔画省际联盟邀请展,辽河美术馆,盘锦2017  Inter-provincial Alliance of Chinese Claborate-style Painting, Liaohe Art Museum, Panjin
2017  气·象——两湖工笔画联展,美仑美术馆,长沙2017  Qi & Image—Joint Exhibition of Claborate-style Painting of Hunan and Hubei, Meilun Art Museum, Changsha
2017  身体与剧场——2017艺术厦门女性艺术邀请展,厦门国际会展中心,厦门2017  The Body and The Theatre, Invitational Exhibition of Female Art of 2017 Artistic Xiamen, Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center,Xiamen2017  云雀在天上——当代青年艺术11人,兑山美术馆,厦门2017  Lark in the Sky—The Modern Youth Art Exhibition(11 Artists), Duishan Art Museum, Xiamen, China
2017  假装——女性艺术家作品展,仟僖雅画廊,武汉2017  Pretending—Female Artists Works Exhibition,Qianxiya Painting salon,Wuhan, China
2016  失·控—当代女性艺术邀请展,城丰美术馆,珠海2016  Out of control—Modern Female Art Inviting Exhibition, Chengfeng Art Museum, Zhuhai, China
2016  无界——当代艺术交流展,制造文化OCT空间,深圳2016     Unbounded—Modern Art Exchange Exhibition, Making Culture OCT Space, Shenzhen, China
2016  重构的他者——宋庄青年艺术家群体现象研究展,中山博览中心,中山2016  Reconstituted Others—Songzhuang Youth Artists Group Phenomenon Studying Exhibition, Zhongshan expo centre, Zhongshan, China.
2016  气·象——两湖工笔画联展,湖北省美术院美术馆,武汉2016  Meteorological Phenomena—Hubei & Hunan Elaborate-Style Painting Eihibition, Art Museum of Hubei Academy of Fine Art, Wuhan, Chin.
2016  内燃——中国新一代女性艺术邀请展,美国布罗德美术馆,兰辛2016  Fire Within—A New Generation of Chinese Women Arists, Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, Lansing, US
2016  新感知 未知的爱——全球女性艺术家邀请展,厦门国际会议展览中心,厦门2016  Neo-Perception-Love Unknown—Global Female Artists Exhibition, Xiamen International Conference Exhibition Center, Xiamen
2016  首届艺术在线国际女画家协会世界巡回展,日本东京中国文化中心,东京2016  World Tour Exhibition of First Session Art Online International Female Artists Association, Tokyo China Cultural Center, Tokyo, Japan
2016  新约——中国当代女性艺术邀请展,东方美术馆,无锡2016  New Convenant—Chinese Modern Female Art Exhibition, Oriental Art Museum, Wuxi
2015  新感知——中国新一代女性艺术邀请展,艺术门画廊,上海2015  Neo-Perception—China’s New Generation of Women Artists, Pearl Lam Galleries, Shanghai
2015  绽放——2015中国首届百位当代女性艺术家作品展,成都华侨城创想中心,成都2015  Blossom—the First Session of 100 Chinese Contemporary Women Artists Exhibition, Chengdu OCT Creative Center, Chengdu 
2015  凝视——2015中国当代女性艺术双年展(优秀奖),河北师大博物馆,石家庄2015  Gaze—2015 Biennale of Contemporary Arts of Female Chinese Artists, Hebei Normal University Museum, Shijiazhuang 
2015  5+5展,米哈娜亚画廊,东京
2015  5+5 Exhibition, Micha Naya Gallery, Tokyo
2015  积翠边城——大美湘西中国画展,曼谷诗丽吉国际会展中心,泰国曼谷2015  Lush border town—Chinese Paintings Exhibition concerning beautiful western HunanSirikit International Conference and Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
2014  纸·上——2014当代艺术邀请展,罗湖美术馆,深圳2014  On & paper—2014 Contemporary Art  Invitation Exhibition, Luohu Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
2014  青春心印——2014首届关山月美术馆青年工笔画展,关山月美术馆,深圳2014  Images of the mind for youth—2014 First Guan Shanyue Art Museum Youth Elaborate-style Painting Art exhibition, Guan Shanyue Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
2014  “隐于市”首届东莞农贸市场国际艺术节,茂源中心市场,东莞2014  Reclusion in City First Dongguan farmer’s Market International Art Festival, Maoyuan center market, Dongguan, China
2013  “似似非非”湖南青年工笔画提名展,于斯空间,长沙2013  “Similar and Different” Hunan Youth Elaborate-style Painting Nomination Exhibition, Yusi Space, Changsha, China
2013  方寸之间——当代水墨邀请展,艺•凯旋艺术空间,北京2013  Among Square Cun—Contemporary ink Painting invitation Exhibition, Art-Triumph Art space, Beijing, China
2013  “牵手丹青”三地巡回展,千年时间当代艺术中心,长沙、香港、澳门
2013  “Hold hands with Painting” Tour Exhibition in Three places, Millennium Time Contemporary Art Center, Changsha, Hong Kong, Macao, China.
2012  “象为心印”第二回展, 深圳博物馆,深圳
2012  Image is the Impression of Mind, the 2nd Exhibition, Shenzhen Museum, Shenzhen, China
2012  “渐变”四人工笔画展,文萃报美术馆,长沙2012  Gradual Change, Four people Elaborate-style Painting Exhibition, Wencui Newspaper Gallery, Changsha, China.
2011  历史——新宋庄之“破界”当代水墨邀请展,上上国际美术馆,北京2011  History—New Songzhuang: Break The Boundary Contemporary Ink Exhibition, Sunshine International Art Museum, Beijing, China
2010  从东营到宋庄·湖南当代艺术展,禾·美术馆,北京2010  From Dongying to Songzhuang & Hunan Contemporary Art Exhibition, He-Art museum, Beijing, China
2010  “重现高地”艺术联展,杰森画廊,北京
2010  Reappearing Highland Art Group Exhibition, Jason Gallery, Beijing, China.
2009  中国情境“重庆驿站”当代艺术展,501当代美术馆,重庆2009  Chongqing courier station under Chinese Context Contemporary Art Exhibition, 501 contemporary Art Museum, Chongqing, China.
2008  艺术湖南,湖南省美术精品展,中国美术馆,北京2008  Art Hunan, An Exhibition of Great Art Works of Hunan Province, Hunan Province Art Museum, Changsha, China
2006  湖南工笔画新作展(佳作奖),湖南省美术馆,长沙2006  An Exhibition of New Elaborate-style Painting, (prize of excellent works) , Hunan Province Art Museum, Changsha, China
2005  湖南省首届花鸟画作品展(银奖),湖南省美术馆,长沙2005  The 1st Exhibition of Flowers and Birds Paintings of Hunan province, (silver award), Hunan Province Art Museum, Changsha, China

About the museum

Shangyuan Art Museum is a modern art museum in Beijing, China. A private museum, it was established in 2007. It hosts an International Residency




I have been looking closely through Zhou Qiaoyun’s work once again now in the light of the time that has passed since I encountered her work and her personality, I realized that it is as if the time helped me ruminate, now I am standing before something that can only be compared to a high quality wine that only time transforms into it’s true nature. It made me think about the depth of the creation, the firmament of all living being, channeled through something called mother, and in Tao Te Jing, everything that is named is of motherly nature. The love and a connection is so strong that it evades the harshness of existence, it doesn’t tolerate the ruthless mysteriousness of nature, it only knows one term: nurturing.  It is with pleasure to present her work in here and I wish for everyone to look at these pieces and imagine the gentle breeze of the nature, the divine touch of kindness, the reminder as to the true human values, genuine, profound, gravity-less. 

Irina Ideas



Art history


Exploring the world of Petar Lubarda, seeing through all the way to building block that the stone is

Exploring the world of Petar Lubarda, seeing through all the way to building block that the stone is

This is a story, a personal impression rather, of a great artist Petar Lubarda with his roots in Montenegro, with trunk in former Yugoslavia’s Belgrade and Paris and branches, leaves, fruits and flowers in the World. He reaches deep into the history and yet gives us something completely new, a way to look through the prism of the stone that becomes a bone that becomes a structure that becomes an architecture. An architecture of the cosmic journey that we all take on this planet becoming one with the stone that made us and at the same time we become appalled from time to time when we notice the glimpses of the core. We live in the world so dominated by the ruthless ruler called beauty that often times we live in the superficial layer that the underlying truth frightens us. We have learnt to ignore the depth to such a degree that we follow the footpath of positive psychology, from one landmark to another, to avoid abyss at any price, the abyss of the unknown that the subconscious mind knows.

Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century

Louise Bourgeois is crossing the boundaries of any of the definitions and exploring and emphasizing on the prevailing forces of the subconsciousness of the 20th century

Louise Bourgeois graced this planet with her presence spanning almost a century, during which she created a wide range of artistic pieces in different languages of materials and expression. She is one of the artists of 20th century who always came back to the psychology, self observation, getting back to the core, finding essence in the childhood memories and events.

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