Guest Visual Artist

REN Xiaolong
Chief Executive, China NCPA Orchestra

In the 2019/20 season, artist Mr. ZHU Wei accepted the invitation to be the guest visual artist of the China NCPA Orchestra and Chorus. For more than two years since then, Mr. ZHU Wei has shown his unique artistic taste and brilliant painting skills in the effort to set up a bridge between the worlds of music and visual art. The results of his wisdom and works during this exploration include the Cadenza series for the 2019/20 season, In Erinnerung an Beethovens 250 Geburtstag, a work of gigantic size, Quartet, and Swan Lake for the 2020/21 season and the large-scale painting with the theme of Glows from Within for this season, as well as countless drawings and sketches.

A painter is a person of extraordinary perception, who observes all details of the universe. A painter’s concentrated exploration of a specific topic or field during a certain period of time may sometimes be a fruitful journey of discovery in his creative career, but sometimes it can also be quite risky in a way, especially considering the enormous investment of time, emotion and intellectual effort he has made for this purpose. We are both impressed and sincerely moved by ZHU Wei’s dedication over the past two years, and the results make us feel both proud and delighted.

Sound is clearly primary in the creation and work of a musician, but it is not everything. The composer, the performer, the listener, and the multitude of people active in the myriad of time and space covered by the musical work, communicating and empathizing with each other on the sites of the performance and crossing time and space, build a grand world together that we call the musical life with sound at its core. The musicians' performance with full concentration, the audience’s excitement or calmness, the emotions that burst out from the sound bringing everything to life, and the joy and energy unique in all theatres around the world all seem to be beautiful waves in our musical life. In this sense, ZHU Wei’s paintings not only record our musical life, but also help us go beyond the confines of sound and look at musical life from a broader perspective.

ZHU Wei’s new painting for our new season, a masterpiece with the theme of “ Glows from Within”, is a group portrait of all the musicians of the NCPAO. It takes courage to create a portrait of an orchestra. It is already difficult to vividly present diverse faces of more than a hundred musicians within the frame; it is almost impossible to bring an orchestra to life with its sound on the silent canvas. However, when we look at this painting, we can clearly see the connection between all the musicians and listeners like an invisible bond, through which the faces, eyes and figures of every person, as well as the bright moon hanging in the sky or hidden in the heart, are all instantly brought together in the same wonderful power and temperament under ZHU Wei’s brush. In fact, such power and temperament is exactly the unique characteristic of us as a team. When we start playing on stage, such power and temperament as an integral part of our music will build up a very special resonance on the stage, touching the hearts of all the audience and forming an atmosphere in the whole concert hall. Sadness, reluctance, confusion, elevation, hope, movement, or other emotions all grow into powerful empathy that goes beyond individual differences. As Romain Rolland said, “the essence of the great interest of art lies in the way that it reveals the true feeling of the soul, the secrets of its inner life, and the world of passion that has long accumulated and fermented there before surging up to the surface.” Through ZHU Wei’s extraordinary perception, the true emotions and passions that have been accumulated and fermented in us musicians are finally captured in a way other than music, which allows more people to feel our inner world. As a result, we are able to look beyond ourselves and understand the value of our work from a new perspective, and to strengthen our belief in what we do. For this, we would like to thank ZHU Wei for his brilliant brushwork, discerning vision and extraordinary perception, and more importantly, for the insight and encouragement he has brought us with this collective portrait!

In fact, this is one of the reasons why we started this multi-year guest artist programme: through these paintings, Mr. ZHU Wei has captured the most touching moments in the world of art and theatre, turning them into eternal visual memories and reminiscences, which has enabled more people to perceive the value and meaning of art in a way other than music. We are grateful for this, and we look forward to seeing more of Mr. ZHU Wei’s works in the future, as he explores the profound world of art and theatre through visual perception.


ZHU WeiGuest Visual Artist

Born in Beijing in 1962

Participated in 1985 Art Movement Activity。

Planned and participated in “1986 The Last Art Exhibition”

Graduated from Japanese National Osaka Kyoiku University in 1992 with Master's Degree。

Founded "Digital Communications Beijing" and "Digital Space Beijing" in Beijing in 2000

Published "Details" series Master Brushwork in 2011

Travelling actively between Beijing, Japan, America and other places in the name of freelance artist and designer since 1986

At present, working at Li Keran Academy of Painting and living in Beijing and Seattle

Glows from Within

ZHU Wei | Dimensions:5950 x 2195mm |Year:2021
ZHU Wei Dimensions:5950 x 2195mm


ZHU Wei | Year:2021
ZHU Wei | Year:2021