October 2014

Zhou B Art Center: The Home of Artists

In the river of human history, in every generation the Artist belongs to a special niche of fantasy and creativity. Their poetic creation and expression enriches the human spirit, adding richness, wisdom, and color to our history. In our time, how can we give artists an environment for creation and the young generation a platform to show their talent? This was the beginning concept for the Zhou B Art Center.


What is the Zhou B Spirit? It is a sense of selflessness, a sense of sacrifice, and a commitment to lifting up others. Never taking “no” for an answer. Never giving up on your dreams. Always believe that everything and anything is possible, even going against the greatest of all odds. These are the things my father and uncle have been teaching me for as long as I can remember.

Zhou B Art Center 3rd Fridays

In the fall of 2004, my good friend Paul Sierra mentioned that his dealer, Oskar Friedl, was working with the Zhou Brothers on an artist space project in Bridgeport and that they might have an office space available for my Art Advisory business. When I met Oskar at the Zhou B Art Center, the building was mostly empty except for Oskar’s gallery and Martin Bernstein’s and Nick Depeder’s studio

Dream Realized

Founded by two dreamers who landed in Chicago and found success by holding onto the strength of their vision, it is no surprise that in the ten years since it opened its doors the Zhou B Art Center has been an incubator for the visions of others. With a philosophy of openness and a spirit of collaboration born from the Zhou Brothers’ body of work, the center has not only harbored some of Chicago’s most thought-provoking artists, it has encouraged dialogue between them and the community. It’s in making that space for dialogue that the center does some of its most important work—creating connections between people from disparate walks of life, which is truly essential work in a city like Chicago.

40-Plus Years after Their First Collaboration, a New “Water Lily” Series from the Zhou Brothers

In 1973, Da Huang Zhou and Shan Zuo Zhou—the Zhou Brothers—created their first work together. It was a relatively simple work, and a symbolic one: The Wave (1973), an oil-on-canvas seascape, depicts a sailboat drifting away on ocean waves. It marked the beginning of a journey, destination unknown. From that point on, for the next 40-plus years, the Zhou Brothers created a wide range of paintings, prints, sculptures, and performance art pieces. In 1986, they relocated their practice to Chicago, ultimately opening their own gallery in 2004. That space, Zhou B Art Center, now offers “The Water Lily Pond of Life,” an exhibition highlighting the duo’s new painting series.