Zhou Lian Hua's paintings are a story of her spiritual reaction to the influx of intense emotions derived from sorrowful experiences and the contemplation of their relation to what is important in life. Zhou presents each scene and chapter of her story in varied combinations of colors and shades.
Each color represents an emotion with myriad shades representing the varied degrees of intensity of that emotion. The paintings are simultaneously powerful, poetic and prophetic.
Powerful because human dignity is manifested in the courage and strength we have in the face of tragedy and calamity.
Poetic because beauty of the human soul is manifested in our ability to feel.
Prophetic because they carry the message that our future depends on how we deal with each challenge; in short, our attitude and perception.
Zhou discovered her fine sensitivity to colors when she first saw the works of Vincent van Gogh. She was deeply touched by the intense emotion conveyed by the strong colors she saw in the images, which triggered her reflections. The connection she made with van Gogh's paintings helped her come to the realisation that there were infinite possibilities to resonate a multitude of emotions, just as musical notes do.
Upon awakening of her sensitivity to the power and nature of colors, Zhou decided to redirect her emotions to creating artistic representations of them Once bottled up emotions were now redirected and defined on canvas in colours - she felt released from the bondage of those emotions and was thus uplifted. This is the reason Zhou enjoys painting. When she paints she is happy; even when life gets tough. Painting helps to restore her inner peace.
Zhou, who has no formal education in painting and started during nights around 18 years ago when her young children were asleep as a self-imposed therapy to help her deal with the strong emotion of bereavement at the sudden death of her husband. During such time of fragile emotional well-being she was left with three young children that needed to be fed and cared for; so she had to be strong. To help herself overcome tough emotional challenge and to deal with the burden of single parenthood, she started occupying herself by doing things that could lift her emotionally.
One of the main features of her paintings is the use of heavy layers of acrylic; packed together; other times interwoven in different angles and directions. In between chaotic layers, a quiet structure is exposed when examined closely, with various grades of light shining from and through different directions which powerfully convey a light and a lightness that instill a sense of hope and joy; thus, conveying to the viewer a prophecy that is recognizable that God will make good of all things that are wrong.