Working in Berlin in the 1980s and influenced by German Expressionism, Zhu began his lifelong commitment to the language of pure abstract form. His involvement with abstract expressionism was not simply a desire to emulate Western antecedents, but to invest that art form with characteristics that are specific to Chinese traditions of free brush (xie yi) and ink painting. Zhu’s paintings are a visceral means of expression and whilst being embodied with preoccupations of his own culture the works take on a physical presence of their own.
“Zhu Jinshi is one of China’s leading contemporary artists. His highly distinctive approach was apparent from the early 1980s, when he made his first abstract paintings…His paintings assert themselves on their own terms, but they are not simply inert. Colour, light, texture and atmosphere are vital elements that animate these extraordinary works, informing them with the mysterious aura of life,” - Paul Moorhouse, former curator at Tate Britain and now Senior Curator at the National Portrait Gallery, London.