Xianwei Zhu: Yun Shou - Wolkenhände I

21 January 2024 - 2 April 2024
The influence of traditional Chinese landscape painting and Daoist philosophy is clearly recognisable in Xianwei Zhu's work: the choice of motif, colouring and specific brushwork are just a few examples of this. Similar to Friedrich, Zhu's human figures appear like miniatures, emphasising the sublimity of the surrounding nature. In addition to other similarities in composition and subject matter, there are elements in Zhu's work that can be seen as a direct homage to Caspar David Friedrich. Xianwei Zhu's own artistic signature ensures topicality. His brush acts as an organic extension of his masterful hand: it creates a balance between density and lightness and materialises what the artist experiences inside - in the spirit of Friedrich. The exhibition title YUN SHOU (Chinese for cloud hands) comes from Tai Ji Quan. It is the name of one of 24 figures of the so-called Peking form. The cloud hands symbolise the basic mental attitude of Daoism: an immersion in a meaningful emptiness; the search for balance in a turbulent outside world and the striving for oneness with sublime nature. This attitude can be found in the works of both Friedrich and Zhu.


Text: Caroline Barth M. A. art historian, artist, curator and director of the Caspar-David-Friedrich-Zentrum from the foreword to the catalogue "Xianwei Zhu Wolken Hände", published on the occasion of the exhibition.

Great Sound, 150 × 270 cm, four-part, acrylic on canvas, 2020 – 2021. ©2024 Xianwei Zhu 
The vernissage will take place on 21.01.2024, at 2 pm in the Caspar-David-Friedrich-Zentrum. The artist will be present. Introduction by Dr Tobias Wall, Stuttgart. Admission is free.

Further information about the artist and an impression of his artistic work can be found on the website: https://www.xianwei-zhu.com/ and on Instagram: @xianweizhu1971.

Duration of the exhibition: 21.01.2024 - 02.04.2024
Opening hours: Tuesday - Saturday, 11 am - 5 pm
Admission: 8.00 euros regular; 5.00 euros reduced, children up to 12 years and members of the Caspar-David-Friedrich-Gesellschaft e. V. free.
Accompanying events:
  • Artist talk on 1 March 2024, 4 to 6 pm
  • CDFZ_kontemporär: impulse tour through the exhibition, every Wednesday, 2 pm
  • Drawing workshop: ink, watercolour and sepia, from 27.01. - 30.03. every Saturday, 2 to 4 pm
CV - Xianwei Zhu


1971 Born in Qingdao, China
1989-1993 Studied art education at Shandong University, China
1993-1996 Postgraduate studies in painting at the Hangzhou Art Academy, China
1996–2000 Lecturer at the University of Qingdao, China
2001-2003 Postgraduate studies in free painting at the State Academy of Fine Arts Stuttgart with Prof. Cordula Güdemann
2008 Studied free painting at the State Academy of Fine Arts in Stuttgart under Prof. Cordula Güdemann. Diploma Free Painting
2009 Lectureship at the Merzakademie Stuttgart
2010-2012 Visiting professor at the Beijing Film Academy, China
2016-2020 Visiting professor at the art academy Yun Nan/China
2020-2021 Lectureship at the Technical University of Dortmund

Lives and works as a freelance artist in Düsseldorf and Stuttgart


Awards and honours

2018 Franz-Joseph-Spiegler-Prize, Mochental Castle near Ehingen on the Danube
2014 Main prize of the 28th Art Prize of the Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen


Solo exhibitions: (selection)

2020 „inner landscapes“ Gallery Kunstraum Essen; „Alles ist gut" , Gallery Vayhinger, Singen
2019 „Zu den Quellen",  City Gallery; Wangen im Allgäu „Wolkenpfad“, Gallery Kreissparkasse Esslingen-Nürtingen
2018 „Rückkehr zu den Wurzeln“, Gallery Schrade, Mochental Castle; „Timeless", Kreuzkirche Nürtingen


Group exhibitions: (selection)

2020 „Künstlerpaare.“ Gallery Schlichtenmaier, Stuttgart; „Nah-fern“ Kulturbahnhof Starnberg, München
2019 HTWL. Der Twiel im Blick.“  Art Museum Singen, Singen; „Jubiläumsausstellung“, Gallery Schlichtenmaier, Dätzingen Castle, Grafenau
2018 „BERGE: was sonst.“ ORF-Landesfunkhaus Vorarlberg, Dornbirn, Österreich; „SINGENKUNST 2019 Stadt Berg Fluss“, Kunstverein Singen, Singen


You can find a complete overview of all exhibitions here.