ZHOU Xiaoping

Artist

About This Project

In the early 90s, I had a chance encounter with the late, great artist Jimmy Pike in Broome. We met again the following year under a big tree in Fitzroy Crossing, in the middle of Jimmy’s outback home. It was there that we made a profound connection.

 

I travelled all over the Australian bush with Jimmy. Whenever we got tired from walking, we would rest back to back, take out our sketch books and draw. One day, Jimmy drew a picture of a tall, thin man with a camera hanging from his neck and a backpack on his shoulders. I added to the foreground a black man with a goatee holding a spear, and a man leading him in a search for lizards. We then drew a lizard looking at the two men, and then a giant ant hill, puckered lips, embracing arms, skyscrapers, and so on. Just like that, I would add a stroke, he another, and by wafting smoke of the campfire, we would find ourselves exhilarated.

 

The outback was filled with happy laughter and fine smelling smoke. Every night we lit a bush fire and, again back to back, we shared our innermost thoughts.

 

In 1996, Jimmy and I held our first exhibition together in my home town Hefei, Anhui Province. The significance of this extraordinary cross-cultural event lay in the fact that it was, what I believe to be, the first exhibition of Aboriginal art held in China. In 1999, we held a second exhibition at the prestigious National Art Museum of China in Beijing that established a new chapter for audiences in China gaining a deeper understanding of Australian culture.

 

Zhou Xiaoping is a Melbourne-based artist.

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