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 Zhou Huang  (1925 - 1997)

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Lived/Active: China      Known for: animal and genre social themed painting, calligraphy

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Gaiety in the Grassland
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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

Following is a review of an exhibition at the Yan Huang Art Museum in coordination with the Huang Zhou Fine Arts Foundation Date:
March 26–June 25, 2011
Venue:Gallery N3

Huang Zhou (1925–1997), modern Chinese artist, was originally named Liang Gantang. He was also known by the names of Liang Yezi, Miao Di, Liang Peng, and Liang Quan. Born in Lixian County, Hebei Province, he was apprenticed in his adolescence to artist Han Leran and Zhao Wangyun. Early in his career, he worked as an editor in the Soldiers’ Books Publishing House of the Northeast Military Region.

In 1949, he joined the People’s Liberation Army and served as a staff artist of the Creative Unit in the Political Department at the Headquarters of PLA’s Northeast Military Region. In 1955, he was transferred as a staff artist to the General Political Department of the PLA in Beijing. In 1959, he became a staff painter at the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution. In 1981, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting.

Huang was also a member of the CPPCC National Committee, a consultant to the Arts and Crafts Corporation under the former Ministry of Light Industry, and executive member of the council of the Chinese Artists Association.

Masterpieces of Huang, such as A Blizzard in the Wilderness, Celebrating the Harvest, On Patrol, Singing While Travelling, Pine and Eagle, One Hundred Donkeys, Lamb-grabbing Contest, and Chasing and Playing on the Steppe, represent innovative achievements in contemporary Chinese painting.

His writings include Huang Zhou’s Views on Art and Huang Zhou’s Theories on Calligraphy and Painting. Not only was Huang an artist of the people, he was also a social activist who made outstanding contributions to the preservation and promotion of national art and to the advancement of public art education.

He co-founded the Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting with famous painters Li Keran, Cai Ruohong, and Hua Junwu and presided over the establishment of the Yan Huang Art Museum. His artistic practice and theory have exerted a significant influence on the development of contemporary art.

This exhibition fills a space of about 1,000 square metres with about 100 components and forty manuscripts. In a linear flow, these artworks make the audience possible to tease out the thread of evolution of the artist’s artistic language. The exhibition is divided into two parts according to his life and his artwork, with subunits in both categories. These categories display the artist’s paintings, manuscripts, sketches, photographs, and video projections such that they playfully interweave in a cleverly-conceived space.

The Yan Huang Art Museum and the Huang Zhou Fine Arts Foundation provide more than 1,000 works done between 1943 and the time of his death. Each work on display is carefully chosen from them. The exhibition is composed of the following:

1. The sketches, paintings, and calligraphy works Huang donated to the Yan Huang Art Museum;
2. Manuscripts, seals, letters, studio objects, etc. from the Huang Zhou Fine Arts Foundation and the Huang Zhou family collections;
3. His works in the National Art Museum of China and the Great Hall of the People, Zhongnanhai , the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, and various state collections;
4. Publications on painting theory and quotations from Huang that may offer a general view of the evolution of his art and style.

These objects are arranged in a way that thoroughly reflects his life as a painter and draws out the special characteristics of his artwork. The Art of Huang Zhou presents the works that best represent every era of the Huang’s life as an artist. The artist and person emerge from his personal notes, letters, ideas, theory, and other works. Pictures of his life delineate the different phases of his life and allow the spectators to obtain a more intuitive impression of him. The film and video section shows recordings of the artist’s friends and interviews with students, engaging the audience in a way that enhances the exhibit’s readability and makes the atmosphere conducive to learning. The research done for this exhibition will be passed down to other generations so that his contributions to the new era of Chinese painting will not be forgotten.

Online Source:

This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Please note: Artists not classified as American in our database may have limited biographical data compared to the extensive information about American artists.

1925 - 1997
Huang Zhou was born in 1925 in Lixin County, Hebei Province. Even as a child Huang Zhou displayed a love and desire for painting, and at the age of 14 he began taking lessons. Huang Zhou joined the Peoples Liberation Army in 1949 as an Artist and was stationed along the northwest border areas. It was while stationed along border region of Xinjiang, that Huang Zhou was first exposed to the culture of the Tajik Minority of the region which was to become such an important element of his painting.

Huang Zhou's distinctive blending of traditional Chinese painting techniques with uniquely Western ideas of perspective and form give his paintings a "true to life" quality unique in Chinese Painting.

Up until his death in 1997, Huang Zhou was the Vice-President of the National Academy of Chinese Painting and a permanent member of the Chinese Artist Association's Standing Council.


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