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Zheng Zhou: Spanish Grilled Fish

17 May - 29 June


Kiang Malingue presents Zheng Zhou’s fourth exhibition with the gallery “Spanish Grilled Fish”, showcasing more than ten paintings completed between 2019 and 2023.

Zheng has continued in recent years to base his painterly creations on free movements of brilliant colours, seeking visions and signs from the interplay of the paint and the canvas in a manner similar to ancient Chinese divination practices. When painting, Zheng is less concerned with representing fragments of reality or producing a predetermined scene, than with observing the free flow of paint on self-stretched canvases, before discerning in the splashes and drips human figures, animals, plants, atmospheres and stories. For Zheng, the proper act of painting is, instead of the actual mark-making process, the viewing experience in the studio, which might last up to six months. He constantly and repeatedly examines the paintings in different stages, adding new elements that can be either harmonious or unsettling, rendering richly textured, fabulous scenes.


Zheng Zhou (b. 1969, China) is a painter of instinct, conveying onto canvas observations from the world, as ad hoc as they may be. His strokes, furtive yet decisive, depict an urgency – to grasp, to depict, to capture that mesmeric multitude of the cosmos, the ‘phenomena’ we, or more precisely he, is a witness to. Referencing ‘I Ching’ (“The Book of Changes”), Zheng channels the astronomical, remarking the myriad of components that make up our universe, mimicking its duplicity through his subject range, hues and techniques. 

A prolific painter, Zheng debuted by studying Printmaking at the Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts, which led to a post at the Printmaking Department of the China Academy of Arts from 1994 to 1996. Zheng subsequently shifted his creative practice towards one of painting, pursuing a Masters in Oil Painting at the China Academy of Art from 1997 to 1999, following which he became a lecturer at the China Academy of Art Affiliated High School from 2000-2010. Throughout these years of tuition and pedagogy, Zheng painted, systematically, doggedly, before finally relocating to Beijing in 2013 to work as an artist. Over the course of several decades Zheng created canvas after canvas, depicting a range of phenomena, albeit away from the public eye – a private stream of observational consciousness.

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