Tianya Zhou is a traditional watercolourist specialising in painting Portraits & Figures. He mainly paints the Tibetan; he thinks that China creates the miracle of the world economy, but is losing its own long history of traditional culture.
Tianya believes that there are a lot of paradoxes between the economic development and the maintenance of the environment and traditional culture. For him, it is sad to see following the massive modernization through construction and development, that the ecological environment and native culture are being destroyed. Therefore, Tianya records the vanishing traditional Tibetan culture.
Watercolour has sometimes been called a non-serious art form in the West. In the East, watercolour is also a “light music” or a minor painting genre. “I hope to break the headlock. My aesthetic goal is that watercolour can also be the symphony, which not only has personal particular style, but also maintains the uniqueness of the watercolour language”, says Tianya.
Tianya is a traditional watercolour artist primarily using pure watercolours, his method of working involves many thin glazes of transparent paint, which gives a great sense of colour and depth. He will often apply as many as 20 layers of paint before a work is completed. When he travels, he usually sketches on site, where he begins conceiving the idea for a painting and thinking about composition. He also takes photographs for reference; back in his studio, he works on improving the composition of the sketch based on the photos. Usually he crops and splices the reference pictures and adjusts the colours with Photoshop. When necessary, he draws the sketch again and again until he’s satisfied with the final draft. He thinks sketching on site is very important, as everything he sees is alive; it makes him more passionate and helps to stimulate his senses.
He usually uses painting wet-into-wet, dry-on-dry and wet-on-dry technique, a glazing over underpainting method and a washing technique. These are the most common techniques other watercolour artists practice as well. He does not ever splash salt, rarely applies masking fluid and never uses other materials to get the texture on the paper before he paints. His biggest concerns are the idea, modeling, light and shadow, colour and composition (which are the basic elements of painting), as well as finding a good balance between looseness and control, detail and roughness.
2012 - present, As full-time Curator and Professional Artist(National Second-class Artist) at Visual Arts Dept.of Luohu Cultural Center, Shenzhen City Guangdong Province China, founded Shenzhen International Watercolour Biennial Exhibition and as Curator & Organizer at 2013 to2017.
2001 - 12, As full-time First-class Teacher teaches painting at Donghu Middle School, Shenzhen City, Guangdong Province.
1998 - 2001, As full-time Lecturer teaches painting at Art Dept. of Jingchu Academy of Technology, Jingmen City, Hubei Province.
1997 - 99, Studied and obtained Bachelor's Degree in Art & Art Education at Hubei Institute of Fine Arts, specializing in watercolour and oil painting.
1994 - 97, As full-time Assistant Lecturer teaches painting at Art Dept. of Shayang Teacher School, Shayang County, Hubei Province.
1992 - 94, Studied at Art Education Dept.of Hubei Institute of Fine Arts.
1973, Born in Jingzhou City, Hubei Province, China.
Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour (2018)
American Watercolor Society (2014)
Australian Watercolor Institute (2014)
National Watercolor Society of USA (2009)
China Artists Association (2005)
Tianya has won more than fifty awards for his paintings both in China and abroad, the major awards including:
Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours (RI):
The Debra Manifold Memorial Award (206th).
The Ministry of Culture of the China and China Artists Association:
Bronze Medal Award, National Arts Exhibition (10th). Excellence Award, National Watercolor and Pastel Exhibition (7th).
The American Watercolor Society International Annual Exhibition:
Morris J.Shubin, AWS.Memorial Award (148th). Mary S.Litt Memorial Medal (149th).
The National Watercolor Society International Annual Exhibition:
Jack Richeson & Co. Purchase Award( 89th). Watercolor West Reciprocal Award (93rd).
Jerry’s Artarama Award (94th).
The Canadian Society of Painters in Water Colour:
Dorothy J.Corson Award (88th). Carl Schaefer Award (91st). Heinz Jordan Award(92nd).
The First Place, Watercolor Art Society-Houston’s 32nd International Exhibition.
The Second Place, VII Vina del Mar Watercolor International Biennial Exhibition, Chile.ect.
2012 Royal Watercolour Society Contemporary Watercolour Competition
2015 Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Watercolour 134th Exhibition
He has participated hundreds of juried and salon exhibitions in China, UK, USA, Russia, Italy, France, Australia, Mexico, Turkey, Belarus, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Greece, Chile and Singapore etc.
Paintings catalogue Zhou Tianya by Lingnan Art Publishing House, China (2018), The Artist Magazine, USA (June 2016), International Watercolor Artists Handbook II by Ponte Vecchio Press, USA (2015), Series books Masters of Watercolor by Planet of Music Press, Russia (2013, 2017, 2018), Series books Inspirations & Technical Breakthroughs Volume I to IV by Jilin Fine Arts Press, China (2013, 2014, 2016, 2017), Splash: The Best of Watercolor 12,13,19, USA (2010, 2011, 2017), Watercolor Artist Magazine, USA (April 2010), The Artist Magazine U.K. (Sept. 2009), book The Watercolors by Zhou Tianya by Beijing Arts and Design Publishing House, China (2006), International Artists Magazine, USA (114 & 118 issue), The Art of Watercolour, France (9,21,24,25,29 issue).