Dan Zhu

Dan Zhu (1985) creates a magical world in a refined style in which for instance mussels can string together like a stick and walk on the beach probing the sand. In another work A Trip to an Image she uses the setting of a train window to frame the imagery, where leaves, flowers, flying creatures and planets pass by simultaneously as in a dream in which everything has its meaning. To Dan Zhu Trip to an Image is a metapher for the path she has to follow in her development. In recent work she explores natural forms, switching from macro to a micro level and using parallel perspectives that bring movement and dynamics into the image

In traditional Chinese painting the concept of Spirit Resonance is important. It means that an object of figure does not have to be scientifically accurate but the spirit evoked by the movements of a figure or object must be precious. On the other hand she is also inspired by Western art with a preference for artist like Hilma Af Klint or outsider artitst like Henry Darger or Guo Fengyi. Painting skills from the east and the west are equally valid to her: “the roads are different but the goals are the same. Curators or art historians are always swimming along the river. But artists are jumping all over the place.”

1985 born in Jiangxi, China


2003 – 2007 Bachelor of communication theory, Shenzhen University, Shenzhen, China
2007 – 2009 Master of design at Communication University of China, Beijing, China
2010 – 2020 Hochschule für Kunst und Gestaltung, Offenbach am Main, Germany
2016 KASK Gent (Erasmus semester), Belgium
2018 – 2019 Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten, Amsterdam, NL
lives and works in Shenyang, China

solo exhibitions

2023 Ferris Wheel Before Dawn, Tabula Rasa Gallery, Beijing, China
2022 I thought it was dead, it thought it’s spring, Tabula Rasa Gallery, London, UK
2021 Night into Nights, CocA Award 2020, Art Institute Melly Rotterdam, NL
2018 There Is No Size, Studio Continuo, Amsterdam, NL

group exhibitions

2023 Soul Mapping, Galerie Zeno X, Antwerp, Belgium
 Unveiled, No.9 Cork Street, Tabula Rasa Gallery, London, UK
Paper Trails, Mendes Wood Gallery, Brussels, Belgium
Art Rotterdam, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Rotterdam, NL
Through Frozen Soil, Desert and Glacier, the 5th Global Overseas Chinese Artists Exhibition,
He Xiangning Art Museum, Shenzhen, China
2022 NADA Miami 2022, Tabula Rasa Gallery, Miami, USA
Summershow, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague, NL
Drawing Now Paris, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Paris, France
2021 Equipe 2, 30 year anniversary Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague, NL
Art On Paper, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, Brussels, Belgium
2020 ((R))) Project Rozenstraat, Amsterdam, NL
Royal Award for Modern Painting (winner), Palace at the Dam, Amsterdam, NL
Drawing Now, Galerie Maurits van de Laar, The Hague, NL
A Quest for Lasting Values, Galerie Tobias Naehring, Leipzig, Germany
Luna Pink Swirl, Project Room Flowershop, Offenbach am Main, Germany
2019 Royal Award for Modern Painting, Palace at the Dam, Amsterdam, NL
From CoBrA to Cutting Oil, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, NL
Rijksakademie Open Studio’s, Amsterdam, NL
2018 Club Solo lecture, Breda, NL
Rijksakademie Open Studio’s, Amsterdam, NL
2017 Konsistenz und Existenz, Offenbach am Main, Germany
My years on friendly street, London, UK
2016 Gout#10 painting In-/Extended, Offenbach am Main, Germany
2015 All bets are off, Zollamt, Offenbach am Main, Germany
2014 Die neue Hässlichkeit, Palast für aktuelle Kunst, Glückstadt, Germany
2013 Freie Sicht, Nassauischer Kunstverein Wiesbaden, Germany
Cafe Royal Books 2013 project, Lancashire, UK
2011 COOP 5, Ehemalige Diamantenbörse, Frankfurt am Main, Germany
2010 New Collection, Stedelijk Museum Wuyts-Van Campen & Baron Caroly, Lier, Belgium
Open Studios, Atelierhaus des Bonner Kunstvereins, Bonn, Germany
2007 Lv Xiao 100, Star gallery, Beijing, China

awards, grants

2021 Wallpaintings in stairwell Schunck Heerlen, NL
Public award Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst
2020 Royal Award for Modern Painting 2020, winner
The Holistic Eye, opdracht Digital Earth for the Vertical Atlas publication
Opdracht Stichting Collectors of Contemporary Art
2019 nomination Koninklijke Prijs voor Vrije Schilderkunst, NL
DAAD yearstipendium (Kunst, Design, Film), Germany
2018 – 2019 Grants Henk and Victoria de Heus
2017 DAAD Studienabschluss scholarship, Germany
2016 Erasmus scholarship (semester at KASK Gent)
2013 stipendium Johannes-Mosbach-Stiftung, Germany
2013 DAAD Stipet 3 Rotary Club Offenbach am Main, Germany

work in collections

NOG Collection, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, Plancius Art Collection, Pereira Collection, Schunck Collection, Ekard Collection, Teylers Museum Haarlem