International contemporary artists Zhou Brothers presented a new body of work in their most recent exhibition at the Zhou B Art Center in Chicago (September 2012). Li – The River of Souls gives name to an entirely new series of paintings inspired by the Li River in China. For the Zhou Brothers, this exceptional exhibition of symbolic abstract landscape paintings represents both a departure and a come back.
It was there, by the majestic Li River that Shan Zuo and DaHuang Zhou were born to experience one of the most serene and beautiful sceneries of the Guangxi Province. Considered as the soul of Guilin, the peaceful serenity found in the waters of the Li has inspired many generations of artists for over 2000 years. From early in their artistic careers, the Li acted as an inspiration and a quiet thriving whisper for the Zhou Brothers. Many years later and having achieved world recognition and success, they recently returned to the tranquil waters of the Li River to be enticed once again by the Spirit of Guilin.
Li – The River of Souls is an exuberant visual excursion into the ethereal beauty of the Li River. The new abstract landscape paintings subtly pay homage to a historical past while revealing a visionary and modern future. Incorporating natural organic forms and delicate color palettes, the Zhou Brothers embrace a sense of intimacy with the landscape and demonstrate intense sensibility and reverence for the place they once called home.
“The river winds like a green silk ribbon, while the hills are like jade hairpins”
— by HanYu (768-824), a famous Chinese poet of Tang Dynasty (618-907)
Additional to the exhibition, the Zhou Brothers created a monumental painting inspired by a live ensemble performance of the Chicago Sinfonietta under the baton of Maestro Mei-Ann Chen. The highly anticipated event took place on September 28th at the Zhou B Art Center. Important guests and dignitaries witnessed a rare opportunity to see the Zhou Brothers engage in the art making process. The abstract painting created during the performance followed the fluidity, color scheme and expressive force also characteristic of the Li River exhibition paintings. Not only the Zhou Brothers continue to be important figures in the contemporary art world, but also, they continue to thrive forward with focus and passion.