Zhou Chunya (Chinese, b.1955) is a painter best known for his series of Green Dog paintings. He studied at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts, which educated students in creating art that would serve as political propaganda during the Cultural Revolution. During this time, Zhou traveled to Tibet and painted a series depicting nomad life according to the Socialist Realist style. At the same time, Zhou embraced Western techniques of painting, and was inspired by German Expressionism while studying in Kassel, Germany. Eastern and Western influences converge in his Green Dog series, begun in the 1990s, which depicts his German Shepherd painted green.
The dynamic, aggressive brushstrokes recall German Expressionism as well as ancient Chinese calligraphy, while the dog itself is a symbolic self-portrait. In 1999, Zhou began to paint peach blossoms with pink men and women in an embrace, combining the traditional Chinese subject of the peach blossom with a modern and liberal approach to sexuality. Zhou’s series of landscapes feature a more muted palette of dark browns and depict jagged rocks and trees. His Landscape Series No.5 appears almost abstract with brushstrokes reminiscent of ancient Chinese landscapes. A retrospective of 30 years of his work was held at the Shanghai Art Museum in 2010. His work has been exhibited at many international galleries and museums, including the Shanghai Gallery of Art, the National Art Museum in Beijing, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. He currently lives and works in Chengdu, China.