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Zuo Exhibit Features Sabbatical Pieces

January 22, 2013

Yingxue Zuo  
Yingxue Zuo with one of the works he painted while on sabbatical in fall 2012. An exhibit of
his oil paintings currently is open for public viewing at the Gallery of Contemporary Art on the
Forest Park campus.
















Overlooking a mountain range in the Hunan Province, Yingxue Zuo, Art department chair at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park, painted rural landscapes as part of his sabbatical last semester.

He has created an exhibit of oil paintings from the 70 works he completed in the “plein air” style, and “New Masterpieces from China” is on display in the Gallery of Contemporary Art now through Feb. 8. Hours are from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. The gallery is located to the right of the Library entrance on the campus at 5600 Oakland Ave.

Zuo was among 20 artists invited back to China in the fall to work in their native land.

“It was a great opportunity for me, to do research, to produce 70 pieces of art, to lecture at university and work with international students,” Zuo said. “Without the sabbatical, it would be hard to imagine creating all the works.”

He made several trips around the countryside, looking to nature for inspiration. The plein air style means the artist completes all works outdoors.

Yingxue Zuo demonstrates the plein air
style of painting.

“It is very hard to paint outdoors – you are limited by hours of daylight. By the time you set up, you have three, four hours to finish. It’s very challenging,” he said.

Zuo is internationally known for blending the ancient techniques of his birthplace China with those of contemporary Western practices.

“The natural world is an infinite resource for arts – rich and colorful for honest visual content, great gifts,” he said. “I am a curious man by nature. My job as an artist is to avoid repeating myself. I am driven to pursue evolutionary change and grow as an artist.”

Zuo’s art has been exhibited in galleries locally, in New York City and Beijing.

His works have been exhibited at local universities, including Saint Louis University, Washington University, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, Webster University and the University of Missouri-St. Louis.

Zuo has served as chair of the Forest Park Art department for four years, and has taught at STLCC for 13 years. He has been in St. Louis since 1990, after he earned a master’s of fine arts degree in painting and printmaking from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Zuo said he took up painting at age 17, which led to a career in art.

“This is my life, art is my life,” he said.

He received a bachelor’s degree in 1982 from Northeast Normal University in Changchun, which is in the Jilin Province. Zuo moved to the United States in 1986 and currently lives in Chesterfield.

For more information about the exhibit, call 314-644-9350 or 314-644-9231.