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Jian Zhou

MA work

How Consciousness Creates Art and How Taoist Philosophy Influences the Artwork

Installation art work 

Mixed media between woodcraft and Chinese traditional ink painting, screen print and drawing on the wall.


  • Jian Zhou
  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Printmaking, 2014

  • "How much negative you are, it means how much positive you want.”
    –Arthur Schopenhauer

    The initial impression that inspired this series of art pieces comes from the concept of Taoism. The idea of balance and harmony in life is the aim that encourages me to produce this mixed media as a series. It reveals a personal experience from my normal daily life. By experiencing depression sickness, it brings the idea of negative thinking to myself. It drives me to the stage of being pessimistic. I start to observe the behavior of myself in every day life. Being a negative thinker is affecting the way I interact with people. I see myself start to be more stressed and easily become aggressive. In the meantime, I feel depressed so easily and try to escape from the outside world.  From this stage, I start to experiment with a way to bring this sensitivity into my artwork. The assumption of my first plan is all about the expression of negative thought.  However, when I had experienced this, I was stagnantly in one thing. Naturally I try finding the way to balance my innermost being and explore it in different directions as claims the motto from Taoist philosophy. I start to produce my artwork as the way to meditate myself. As much as I feel negative, it makes me keen to express all positives in my artwork. It might be the way that I try to face with my own problem and expose those eager of calmness in my woodcuts.

    Woodcut is a skill that needs a lot of patience. It requires concentration, which I admit myself to generate my innermost thoughts and express my deepest feeling into my work. The quote from Arthur Schopenhauer describes the concept of these art pieces. This series is a demonstration of desire for harmony.  The symbolisation of each scene combines with natural colour. It drives some unique senses which are hard to describe. 

  • Degrees

  • MA Printmaking, Camberwell College of Arts, 2012; BA Printmaking, China Academy of Arts, 2010
  • Experience

  • Visiting lecturer, Kingston University, London, 2014; Teacher, Jin Qiao High School, Fu Zhou, China, 2008
  • Exhibitions

  • Wild at Heart and Weird on Top, Cafe gallery, London, 2014; Pushing Print, Margate Gallery, Margate, 2013; Bainbridge Open, Embassy Tea Gallery, London, 2013; Chelsea Parallax Art Fair, Chelsea Old Town Hall, London, 2013; Jian Zhou Solo Exhibition, Old Baths Gallery, London, 2012; Future Outlook of printmaking, Kyoto Seika University/Gallery Fleur, Kyoto, Japan, 2012; "It's a small World", Contemporary screen-printing show, [email protected] Gallery, London 2012; Camberwell College of Arts Degree show, 2012; EMIT, New Gallery, London 2012; Printmaking & Book art, Camberwell College of Arts, London, 2012; BA Final Show: Excellent Work from China Academy of Arts, China Academy of Arts, Hangzhou, China, 2010; BA Final Show, China Academy of Arts, Hangzhou, China, 2010