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 Xiaogang Zhu  (1954 - )      Visit this Artist's Studio on AskART

About: Xiaogang Zhu
 

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Lived/Active: Washington      Known for: landscape, water-harbors

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Xiaogang Zhu
from Auction House Records.
Beauty of the Northwest
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Growing up in China, he became a painter of landscapes, primarily marine views of his native Suzhou and the area around Shelton, Washington where he ultimately settled. He also paints occasionally in the Southwest.

He earned his bachelor's degree in art and design at the Suzhou Institute of Silk Technology and his Master's Degree in art history at Nanjing Art Academy. He spent seven years as a textile designer, graphic artist and art professor. He was educated during the Cultural Revolution when creative thought was banned. Although he had no awareness of impressionism, it became his style.

In the early 1990s, he came to the United States and established a studio in Shelton, Washington where he lives with his children and wife, who makes the dark red mahogany stained frames for his paintings. He has also taught art in workshops, and at Puget Sound and Evergreen State Colleges.

Biography from Debbie Leeuw Fine Art:
A member of Artists of America, Mr. Zhu began his painting career in China in the 1970's. He earned his Bachelors Degree there in 1978 and worked as a commercial artist and art professor before coming to the U.S. in 1989.

Zhu received a Masters Degree in painting at Redford University in 1991. He is a signature member of the American Watercolor Society and has won numerous awards both in China and the United States. His work has been published in The Artist magazine, and his paintings are in corporate and private collections throughout the world.

Xiaogang Zhu's paintings owe their preciseness and expertise in design and space relationships to his background as a textile designer and skill as a colorist. He paints in the tradition of the French Impressionists, emphasizing temperature of color. Zhu's careful choice and skill in manipulating color creates shadow, darks, and lights that are richer and more pleasing to the eye. Working primarily in the opaque medium, gouache, he creates light-filled landscapes and beautifully illuminated waterscapes.

Biography from Trailside Galleries:
Xiaogang Zhu’s paintings owe their “exactness and skill in pattern and space relationships” to his background as a textile designer. Earning a B.A. in art from the Suzhou Institute of Silk Technology and an M.A. from Rudford University in Virginia, he paints in the tradition of the French Impressionists, emphasizing temperature of color.

Xiaogang Zhu’s palette and his manipulating of color create shadows, darks, and lights that for many are rich and pleasing to the eye. Zhu works primarily in the opaque medium, creating light-filled landscapes and illuminated waterscapes.

A former professor of art at Shanghai Jiaotong University in China, he did paintings that are in public, private and corporate collections around the world. His home and studio are based in Washington state.

Biography from Nichols Taos Fine Art Gallery:
Xiaogang Zhu is known for his mastery with the gouache medium.  He focuses on landscapes of places with which he is familiar - cities in China and the Yangtze River, Washington State and Arizona.  Occasionally he works in oil, but primarily he paints in gouache, a water base opaque medium.

About his work, the artist writes: "I don't want to be arrogant, but I think my paintings are special, and I put a lot of myself into them…it is the most important thing for me to catch the moment of beauty of light and color. The subject matter is always secondary, although my feelings seem to link more with my hometown landscape from China.  As a matter of fact, since I'm more interested in color, I treat almost any object as color blocks, shapes or dots. I concentrate more on pursuing the right relationship among those color blocks, instead of trying to paint each individual object.  In order to pursue the right harmonic color relationship, I need to work very hard to get those soft, subtle, and close values and very specific tones.  Since the complementary color, and cool and warm color relationships are always very specific, if a little bit is missing, it can make a big difference. This is something always amazing and challenging to me. The other aspects of my painting, such as brush work, composition, subject matter, and medium, all serve my own approach and capture the moment's harmonic color."

Xiaogang Zhu earned his bachelor's degree in Art and Design at the Suzhou Institute of Silk Technology and his master's in Art History at Nanjing Art Academy.  He spent seven years as an art professor, graphic artist and textile designer.  Educated during the time of the Cultural Revolution, when innovative thought was banned, Zhu had no awareness of impressionism, yet his landscapes naturally evolved into it.

He came to the United States in the early 1990s, and according to a recent feature article about him in Art-Talk Magazine, people are now buying everything he can produce.  He says he likes working in the US because he can do less teaching and more painting.

Today, he lives in Shelton, Washington with his wife and son, and is an instructor of art at Evergreen State College and South Puget Sound College, both in Olympia, Washington.  He participates in many exhibitions and one-man shows throughout the nation, and in China.  In April 1995, Zhu was awarded the "High Winds" Medal in the 128th annual exhibition of the American Watercolor Society.

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Xiaogang Zhu is also mentioned in these AskART essays:
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