About Artist


Zhao's Story

An Artist Dream

Zhao was born in Shanghai, China 1952. Since childhood he was fascinated with art and dreamed of one day becoming a master of art. Since 1966, the sweep of Cultural Revolution has closed all the schools in China for over a decade. Zhao spent all of his time researching art and taught himself to paint. When Zhao was 17, he was assigned to the factory as a hammer worker, however, due to his talent in art, he was often dispatched to paint large frescos in public places. In

his spare time, he painted portraits of friends and traveled to rural districts to paint the countryside. Ten years of intensive research helped define Zhao’s skills、techniques and insight into art. In 1977, one of China’s first Universities to offer a Fine Arts Degree finally reopened in Shanghai and nationally recruited only 40 students. Zhao wanted to develop academically and sat for the exam. Later he was notified of scoring third highest marks and thus, would be guaranteed a place. 
However the good news didn’t last long, he was rejected because he wasn’t a party member. The committee decided to give his place to another student with a strong political background. This sudden bias caused Zhao great pain.

“Now, I may need to walk a lot further in order to reach my dreams, but art is my world, my life, I will never give up on it.”

“Heaven closes one door and always opens another.” Zhao’s artistic talent was soon later recognized by various pictorial magazines. He became an art editor and later he was one of China’s youngest chief editors of pictorial magazine. In 1984, he had fulfilled his academic dream to study Fine Art Research in Shanghai’s Jiao Tong University. Zhao has never stopped painting over
the decades. Many of his historical paintings have been exhibited over eight times in China’s national museums from Beijing to Shanghai. Many of his works were also published in China’s national newspapers, magazines, calendars and books.



However, Zhao’s dreams as an artist were not completely fulfilled. At the time, in order to survive and succeed as an artist in China, one was required paint subjects that served politics. Painting about nature and other topics were given no opportunity for development. In 1988, Zhao decided to go to a free country, Australia,to pursue his dream of becoming a full

time artist and paint subjects that he really loved. Such a decision forced him to spend years of savings, give up his job and be apart with his mother, wife and 7 year old daughter for many years. Going to a new place to start from scratch, with no familiar faces and not speaking the language were hard enough. After paying for the airplane ticket, all that was left in Zhao’s pocket were forty Australian dollars. Life’s struggle was tough however Zhao held on firmly to his dream.
During those lonely days, he missed his family a great deal but there was no turning back. After only a few years, Zhao displayed his talent to his second home. From 1989 to 1995, He had won over 40 First Prizes in Australian National Art Competitions. His paintings have been exhibited in the majority of Australian museums and national galleries such as
Victoria National Art Gallery, New South Wales Art Gallery, The Opera House, Australian Maritime Museum, Australian Parliament House etc. Zhao was granted as an “internationally talented artist” a special permit of permanent residence and became an Australian citizen in 1993. In 1996, he was the appointed judge for The Australian Arts Competition.

World Stage

In over 20 years, Hongbin Zhao’s paintings were collected by both the private sector and world renowned organizations throughout the world; His works have been published in limited editions on silkscreen and Giclée on canvas and prints.  Solo and joint exhibitions have been

held in Australia, Britain, Japan, Singapore, Indonesia, HK, Taiwan and mainland China. In the last decade, in Japan alone he has toured with over 70 solo exhibitions. Some of the publications, he is featured in: “The paintings of
Hongbin Zhao”, “Overseas Chinese Artist- Hongbin Zhao’s paintings” and some of the biography selections in are: “50 Australian Artists”, “Who’s Who in Australia”, “Who’s Who in the World”, “500 Leaders of Influence”, “New Leader figures: the most influential masters in China’s Contemporary Arts” and “A famous Teacher in Modern Times” etc.

Zhao has also been interviewed by international journals and invited to make several appearances on Asia -pacific major TV networks. Recently there were two feature stories made about Zhao that were broadcast on Phoenix TV and Asia TV in 2007. 

In 2006, Zhao was awarded an “Honorary Doctorate of Arts’’ by the Yorker International University, USA.