Tianli Zu


Tianli Zu

Born in Beijing, China, 1963
Lives and works in Sydney

Tianli Zu Shades of White, 2023 Acrylic on linen, 100% cotton paper, hand cut 118 x 92 cm Protrait commission Collection of Chinese Art, Live in Art Sydney

Tianli Zu (born in Beijing, China) is an Australian multimedia artist. After graduation from the Central Academy of Fine Arts with a BA, she moved to Sydney in 1988. In 2010, she obtained MFA by research from the Sydney College of the Arts. In 2014 she obtained a PhD from the Sydney College of the Arts, the University of Sydney.

Zu’s art has been exhibited at the Art Gallery of NSW, The Powerhouse Museum, National Library of Australia, Adelaide Festival Centre, Centre Pompidou, Paris, and art institutions. She has been commissioned by The University of Sydney, The Powerhouse Museum, Walt Disney, Maritime Union of Australia, City of Sydney, Sydney Aquarium, Vivid Sydney at Chatswood, Darling Harbour, Create NSW, Casular Powerhouse Arts Centre, Western Sydney University, Westfield Australia, Afterpay, Hilton Hotel, Hazelhurst Regional Gallery and Arts Centre, Gallery Lane Cove + Creative Studios, and Mosman Art Gallery. Zu has been a finalist in numerous national art prizes, including the Archibald Prize twice, Salon des Refuses (People’s Choice Award), Dobell Drawing Prize, Portia Geach Memorial Award, Mosman Art Prize, National Works on Paper, Hazelhurst Art on Paper Award, Paddington Art Prize, North Sydney Art Prize and Willoughby Sculpture Prize.

Zu has a diverse practice comprising papercuts, sculpture, painting, animation and installation. She creates large-scale papercuts by hand combining with installation and animation to provide viewers with experiences of time and space. She has spent over 30 years in Australia telling stories that convey philosophical ideas combining the old and new, nature and technology, the East and West – working with a range of materials and methods to reveal the interplay between light and shadow, yin and yang.

Dr Zu has lectured and led many workshops at art museums and universities nationally and internationally.