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Signature Profiles

Yuming Zhu


Transism Model. Oil. 2014. 12 x 24"

NB Blue Nocturne. Oil. 2011. 36” x 60"

Sensual.  Pastel. 2013. 25” x 30”

Artist Bio

I land my brush with the force of a giant rock splashing into the ocean.  I am not looking for a beautiful painting, but to express Life itself.  

Painting is just like a stacking of passions. I am looking for a few brush strokes that will reveal my unconsciousness through the nature of the subjects.  I take pleasure when the viewer can feel an arousal of their own imagination through one simple line.  It is the viewer’s participation in this act of love that completes the painting.

Originally from Shanghai, China, I studied under Master Chinese brush painters and calligraphers from the early age of ten.  I am humbly the fourth in lineage to the highly esteemed Chinese Master Painter, Wu Chang Shuo.  Art has been my loyal lover since I was very young. At the same time, I was fascinated by the concept of the connection between Psychology and Art. After receiving a BA from Shanghai Normal University, I came to the United States to fulfill my dreams of art and psychology  in America.  I had my first solo show at California State University, Sonoma, where I earned my Master of Arts degree in Clinical Counseling.  Wanting to express my own way of understanding the world, to claim my identity, to obey and destroy tradition and to just simply experience the existence, I call my style of painting “Transism”!

Living in two cultures, I constantly strive to find balance in a world of contradiction and change. It is the dynamic equilibrium, this state of constant flux that defines my work in western painting.  This continual movement, the yin/yang is incorporated into my work through the dance of opposites. The tension of elements, such as dark and light, bold and delicate, emptiness and form, creates a painting that lives.  Exploring the many disquieting ways that modern phenomena meets with tradition is often a theme of my work.  I look to the Masters for inspiration:  Rembrandt, Delacroix, Toulouse-Lautrec in the West, and Bada Sharen, Xu Hui, Wu Chang Shuo in the East.  Balancing the push and pull of their influences creates even more dynamism in my art. Without such movement and energy, the painting is dead.  

What I do can best be described in the beauty of music.  I love to paint music!  I invite the viewer to listen to my painting rather than seeing. Emotion flows from line to color to form.  I feel music informs me how to paint more than the act of painting itself.

People seem to appreciate watching me work and I have demonstrated my way of painting with Chi (energy) at galleries and art museums throughout the West, including the Seattle Asian Art Museum, and the Museum of Asian Art in Oakland. I was invited to work as the master painter in the Seattle Art Museum/KCTS production the “Five Thoughts of Asia Art.”  

I invite the viewer to experience through my paintings the joy of being alive.

I don’t know what else I can do but paint.

Yuming Zhu