Huang Zhou was a modern Chinese artist, was originally named Liang Gantang. He was also known by the names of Liang Yezi, Miao Di, Liang Peng, and Liang Quan.
Born in Lixian County, Hebei Province, he was apprenticed in his adolescence to artist Han Leran and Zhao Wangyun. Early in his career, he worked as an editor in the Soldiers’ Books Publishing House of the Northeast Military Region. In 1949, he joined the People’s Liberation Army and served as a staff artist of the Creative Unit in the Political Department at the Headquarters of PLA’s Northeast Military Region.
In 1955, he was transferred as a staff artist to the General Political Department of the PLA in Beijing. In 1959, he became a staff painter at the Military Museum of the Chinese People’s Revolution. In 1981, he was appointed Deputy Director of the Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting. Huang was also a member of the CPPCC National Committee, a consultant to the Arts and Crafts Corporation under the former Ministry of Light Industry, and executive member of the council of the Chinese Artists Association.
Masterpieces of Huang, like A Blizzard in the Wilderness, Celebrating the Harvest, On Patrol, Singing While Travelling, Pine and Eagle, One Hundred Donkeys, Lamb-grabbing Contest, and Chasing and Playing on the Steppe, represent innovative achievements in contemporary Chinese painting. His writings include Huang Zhou’s Views on Art and Huang Zhou’s Theories on Calligraphy and Painting. Not only was Huang an artist of the people, he was also a social activist who made outstanding contributions to the preservation and promotion of national art and to the advancement of public art education.
He co-founded the Research Institute of Traditional Chinese Painting with famous painters Li Keran, Cai Ruohong, and Hua Junwu and presided over the establishment of the Yan Huang Art Museum. His artistic practice and theory have exerted a significant influence on the development of contemporary art.
Huang passed away in 1997.