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Meet Peng Zhou

Today we’d like to introduce you to Peng Zhou.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Peng. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I have a deep dream that I want to be an oil painter when I studied in art school (same as high school leave). After graduated from Shanghai Theater Academy, I accidentally worked as a commercial photographer. Until one day, I thought I might change something for the current job (commercial photographer) which I had already worked for ten years. Then, I turned to the art fields naturally. Maybe not an oil painter anymore, but an art photographer! I decided to learn about art photography in the USA. I have studied at Savannah College of Art and Design at Atlanta Campus since 2017.

I had a bunch of thoughts about what I should do for my art projects at the beginning. Of course, finally, I found it. I wish my artworks can bring new perspectives to the people. Not because I’m Chinese, it is in many ways, the Western and the Eastern are not contradictory. I think it is going to have more cooperative, not only in the culture or spirituality aspects but also in the societal or country level. The inspirations of my artworks came from Chinese philosophy, and I combined with my previous experiences of the western oil painting. In my opinion, we are drawn into a mixed culture, ethnicity world. The snowball gathers as it goes on. Though it’s not fresh for an American, but for a Chinese. How could I use the Chinese ways/Chinese culture to change the contemporary issues which people used to use the Western ways in our world is a big challenge for me. I did a few photo series, and I’m still working on it.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Obviously, the process is slow. Ideally, I should know about both the Chinese and the Western philosophical classic. But, it’s a huge task. What I’m doing is I go over the most important Chinese philosophy books, and had made some artworks. I’d like to say the results are not bad so far, but it still cannot go faster. Because Chinese philosophy books are ancient Chinese, I have to read and try to understand over and over sometimes even one paragraph. I’m still keeping reading, and I think it’s smooth.

What else should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I was a commercial photographer who based in Shanghai, China. I served for advising agencies, such as BBDO, JWT, TBWA, W+K, AKQA, etc. And my campaign projects included many international companies/brands, such as Hennessy, Kohler, Sprite, Honeywell, Nikon, Levi’s. I offered excellent product shots many for them.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
In the part of commercial photography, I think the proudest moment for me is the clients are satisfied with the final photoshoots. At the other hand, art photography field, my photo series are selected by awards, exhibitions. It’s the kind of approval for the things what I am doing right now.

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Image Credit:
Zhou Peng

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