An expressionist painter firmly rooted in Chinese tradition, Michael Chow (b. 1938, Shanghai) returned to making art in 2012 after a 50-year hiatus. Having grown up in a storied Shanghai household in the 1940s, Chow moved to London soon after the founding of the People’s Republic to study art. After training at St. Martin’s and showing his work in the London art scene of the 1960s, he went on to open the iconic MR CHOW restaurants, first in London, then New York and Los Angeles, where he lives today.
“Voice for My Father,” Michael Chow’s first exhibition in mainland China, includes three parallel bodies of work installed in two of UCCA’s exhibition spaces. In the Nave are presented a suite of Chow’s newest paintings, ecumenically employing materials as varied as gold leaf and raw eggs, and characterized by a unique balance between order and chaos, rigor and improvisation, freedom and control. A massive polyptych, nearly twenty meters long, is the centerpiece of this presentation. In the Long Gallery, more of Chow’s paintings will be joined by his iconic portrait collection, which includes works by artists such as Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Julian Schnabel, Ed Ruscha, and Urs Fischer. Many of these portraits were acquired directly from these artists or given as gifts in recognition of friendship and collaboration with Chow over the years. Alongside these will be shown archival images of Chow’s father Zhou Xinfang (1895-1975), one of the most famous Beijing Opera artists of the twentieth century, positing a connection between the artistic endeavors of father and son. The exhibition, which will travel to the Power Station of Art in Shanghai later in the spring, is held simultaneously with major official celebrations commemorating the 120th anniversary of Zhou Xinfang’s birth.
About the exhibition
Duration: 2015.1.23 – 2015.3.22
Venue: Nave and Long Gallery, UCCA
Courtesy of the artist and UCCA, for further information please visit http://ucca.org.cn/en.