Xiaoping Zhou

Born in Anhui, China
Lives and works in Melbourne

Zhou Xiaoping educated in China. Since 1988 he has been actively engaged with Aboriginal communities in Arnhem Land and the Kimberley.

He has created a unique artistic style by incorporating his new Aboriginal experiences into the traditional Chinese classic painting that he had learnt in China. Chinese and Aboriginal arts and cultures meet in his artworks, generating a new aesthetic while telling his story in Australia. Zhou’s collaboration with the late Jimmy Pike resulted in the first exhibition of Aboriginal art work at Hefei Jiuliumi Art Museum, Hefei, China in 1996, and then held at the National Gallery of China in 1999.

He was the driving force behind the ten-year “Trepang: China and the Story of Macassan–Aboriginal Trade” project from 2002 to 2011, in collaboration with Professor Marcia Langton, Foundation Chair in Australian Indigenous Studies at the University of Melbourne, which led to several exhibitions and a significant publication. Zhou was the principal artist in “Trepang: China & the Story of Macassan – Aboriginal Trade”, both at The Capital Museum in Beijing and the Melbourne Museum in Australia in 2011. The international award-winning documentary film “Ochre and Ink” was broadcast on ABC1 Australia, in 2012. In 2014, Zhouwas invited by the Australian Embassy in Paris to open his solo show at the Embassy.

Zhou has held 50 solo exhibitions worldwide, and has published two Chinese language books on his experiences with Aboriginal communities. He has worked on a mural project at Mutitjulu in Central Australia. In 2014 hewas invited to undertake a residency at the University of French Polynesia and Museum of Tahiti and its Islands.

Most recently, Zhou was awarded the Australia China Council grant to tour his solo exhibition “Dialogues with The Dreaming – the art of Zhou Xiaoping in Australia”.  The key component of the project is to conduct educational lectures at 15 major universities and 6 public talks at community libraries, to create dialogues with local artists during the exhibitions to share the stories of Aboriginal culture through his personal experience as a Chinese Australian artist. The unique stories articulated through the high quality artwork has attracted the wide media coverage reaching a broad audience in both Australia, China and internationally.

Zhou was key research and coordinator in the “Trepang” exhibition project.