Artist . Founder of Ping Zhou Studio
Born in Sichuan province, China. Living in Yokohama in Japan
About the oil painting “Food” series
by Ping Zhou
The so-called “food”, this Chinese character refers to both “food” and “eating” not only in Chinese but also in Japanese. This seemingly simple word in Western culture contains extraordinary multi-meaning in the oriental food culture influenced by the long-standing Buddhist culture. The “food” in Sanskrit literally means eating, drinking, food, nutrition, and support, has four foods: foraging (refers to food on earth), touching (the physical and mental pleasures produced by meditation, become the touch of consciousness and roots), reading (is also called meaning food, refers the food of consciousness and root), and recognizing (the knowledge of learning is to eat). *It also stated that “due to the joy and love of these four foods, birth, old age, sickness, death, worry, sadness, suffering, and annoyance in the future life are widely spread, resulting in the continuous reincarnation of all sentient beings, and eliminating greed for food can prove to be free.” In one sense, compared with western food culture which has the tendency to simplify the concept of “food”, and to be less focused on the essence and ultimate exploration of “food”, the oriental food culture represented by the Japanese and Chinese, which are deeply influenced by Buddhism and Confucian culture, more deeply explores the essence and ultimate meaning of “food” through the pursuit of the “pureness” of the highest realm of Zen and the solemn and rigorous “ritual” of Confucianism. Born, raised, and lived in such a culture background, facing the daily meal, Ping couldn’t help but create a variety of fantasies on the stage of the invisible food table, which gave birth to a series of oil painting “Food”.
The human birds appearing in the “Food” series are images that have been frequently seen in the works of Ping’s Japanese period. It can be said that the human birds- the free elves are the symbol of absolute freedom that Ping is always pursuing. In the non-absolutely free materialized living environment that has always been unable to escape from the “food for life” and “death for food” since the beginning of human history, By creating the scenes in which her savior-“the free elves” show on the stage in the invisible food table, such as “feeding as food”, “escape”, “birth”, “transmigration” etc., Ping has tried to cause people to rethink together, explore the meaning of “life and death”, and shape new ones to obtain the so-called true spiritual absolute freedom.