Jie-Wei Zhou, b. Shanghai, China

Jie-Wei Zhou is a master realist whose brushwork sings with a radiant Impressionistic quality. Working in oil, watercolor, and acrylic, he has won numerous awards, and has exhibited widely in China and the United States.

Zhou began studying art in middle school when his talent was recognized by his teachers. Even as a child, he took a sketchbook wherever he went, immersing himself in the study of light and form. He studied both Russian and French painting styles, earning first a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the Shanghai Normal University and a Masters in Fine Art from the Shanghai Drama Institute in 1991. He was one of only eleven students to do so, in a city of thirteen million.

Zhou became a recognized artist in China, but he had long harbored a dream of painting and teaching in America. He sent rolled canvases to an American gallery, which sold them and deposited the money in a savings account to pay for his passage. The usual bureaucracy and paperwork complicated his emigration, but he is now a permanent resident of the United States.

Zhou varies his subject matter but keeps it authentic. He sometimes poses his wife and daughter in traditional Chinese clothing, and he also paints stately canal scenes from Suchow. He attracts special notice with his depictions of the tribal peoples of Tibet, Mongolia, and China.