Zhong Biao (Chinese, b.1968) was born in Chongqing, China. He studied at the Zhejiang Fine Arts Academy in Hangzhou, China, and graduated in 1987. Biao is well-known for his paintings, which depict cultural symbols and human figures that seem to defy time and space. Beyond Black and Gold is a typical representation of his work. The background of the painting features a modern Chinese cityscape with skyscrapers and industrial buildings. Shadowy figures defy gravity while jumping, running, and diving in midair. The painting is produced with oil paint on canvas, but the artist also works with acrylics. His main color palette consists of charcoal gray, black, white, and gold, but Biao has also been known to accent his pieces with vibrant shades of red.
The artist is inspired by the rapidly changing China. The country has grown economically, culturally, and politically, and these themes can be found in his work. In a recent interview, Biao described his style: "More than anything, my art is an art which searches for order. I search for the order that belongs to the era of today, taking coincidence as a theory of methodology that can explain its everyday connection with the omnipresent." Forging Towards Shangri-La is another example of his work. The painting is oil on canvas and depicts two Asian school children laughing and wearing military-colored clothing. Another smiling child wears aviator goggles on his head, and a Caucasian baby dressed in overalls seems completely unaware of the surroundings. The background contains images of Chinese buildings, jagged mountains, and clouds. Another figure swan dives through the air. The painting, which seems to show two separate but combined worlds, has a military feel that can be found in many of his pieces.
Biao was selected to show his work at the high-profile Shanghai Biennale in 2006. His work has been showcased in many exhibitions and has been featured at the Art Scene Warehouse in Shanghai, the Frey Norris Gallery in San Francisco, and Christie's in London. His work is highly recognizable, and he is considered one of the most influential modern Chinese artists in the world. Biao continues to live in China, and is an art professor at the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts.