Handcrafted pottery, amber jewelry, wooden vases

Courageous Chinese Painter Bridges Traditional Styles with Western Content​

Quail Hollow Events is proud to feature Zhong-hua Lu as one of its demonstrating exhibitors at this year’s Labor Day weekend fair.  His life story, artistic work and teaching career are all remarkable and well documented in a detailed memoir written by his wife, Ellen Graf.  His paintings contain many of the techniques and content of traditional brush painting with his journey in America over the past 20 years.

Zhong-hua Lu was born in 1958 in Shandong Province, China, at the time of The Great Leap Forward, a government program of industrialization and collectivization that resulted in a devastating famine. Starting at age five, Zhong-hua learned the basics of traditional brush painting and martial arts from his father and five uncles. Chairman Mao sent urban youth to work in the countryside as part of the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976). Zhong-hua was appointed to be a village schoolteacher at age sixteen, before he had grown a beard. Traditional arts, philosophies, and customs were maligned as counter-revolutionary, and those who carried this knowledge banished or killed. Zhong-hua continued to secretly practice painting on scavenged bits of paper until Chairman Mao died in 1976.

Zhong-hua lives in rural upstate NY with his wife, artist and writer Ellen Graf. He has taught traditional Chinese arts at Mass MOCA, Williams College, The Capital Region Art Center, The Chinese Community Center, nursing homes, retreats, and his home studio. The question of how Eastern and Western painting traditions can meet fascinates him. Today, some of his best work is oil on canvas, inspired by the landscape of the Rensselaer Plateau. Zhong-hua participates in art festivals throughout New England, including Quail Hollow Festivals every spring and fall. Zhong-hua is a 2015 NYFA finalist in Folk and Traditional Arts and a Hudson Valley Seed Company artist for Nozaki Cabbage.

Ellen Graf’s book is titled “The Natural Laws of Good Luck: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage”

Zhong-hua Lu at work in his studio

Mist, Zhong-hua Lu

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