Born in Nanjing, China in 1963, Ning Zhou developed a passion for photography as a young boy. Out of necessity, he learned how to economize on film by pre-visualizing his photographs – a skill he went on to hone to an extraordinary degree. Even now, despite forty years of experience and the advent of digital equipment, Ning Zhou relies on this unique capability as the touchstone of his distinct style.
Water as the source of life is his constant source of inspiration. Abstractions reflected on its surface in images he calls Water Charms – become visual poems that help us to better understand who we are. It is as if Ning Zhou collaborates with nature to capture and compose that perfect Zen moment in the transcendent dance of light and color, shape and shadow which opens our eyes to the beauty around us while focusing our hearts and minds inwardly.
Ning Zhou’s classically balanced, symmetrical and meditative work has been exhibited in many shows around the world from China to the United States. Among the most notable, George Papandreou, former Prime Minister of Greece and Ning Zhou collector hosted a solo exhibition of Water Charms in Athens in 2007. This show generated a great deal of international buzz as well as a beautiful book. In her review, art critic P. Petsini, commented that Ning Zhou “combines the visionary nature of Buddhist painting with the Taoist quest for the manifestation of the spirit residing in every form, recording… a single moment in time noticed by someone sensitive enough to see.”
Recognized by his peers as China’s Preeminent Contemporary Art Photographer, Ning Zhou is actually even more accomplished. Artist, educator, philanthropist, entrepreneur, gallerist, museum founder – Ning Zhou is truly a modern Chinese Renaissance man.
Currently, Ning Zhou divides whatever time is left after traveling the world searching for water reflections between Nanjing, China (President of the Nanjing Institute of Visual Arts) and Laguna Niguel (President of the East-West Culture and Arts Foundation, Founder of the Ning Zhou Museum of Photographic Arts and Ning Zhou Galleries)
Ning Zhou prints all of his images himself on highly reflective photographic paper which is then sandwiched between two layers of acrylic sheet, clear in front, opaque behind. His prints are characteristically heavily color-saturated which also contributes to their appearing to glow as though backlit.