the big picture

A behind-the-scenes look at The Zhou Brothers’ original multi-textural oil painting that President Obama gifted to President Hu Jintao of China in honor of the State Visit. Featuring the last eight Presidents of the United States and the Great Wall of China, watch as renowned Chinese American contemporary artists, DaHuang and Shan Zuo Zhou, explain the significance and creation of the painting.

5 Responses to “the big picture”

  1. 1 Sonjia Duncan
    January 21, 2011 at 12:45 pm

    The Big Picture, finally we get to see it. I love it, such a great gift to the President of China painted by two gifted Chinese American artists. I love the symbol of it all.

  2. 2 Dorothy Rissman
    January 21, 2011 at 1:07 pm

    It is pretty cool. I hope the President of China appreciates it.

  3. 3 barb
    January 21, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    What an amazing thoughful gift. This is the first time I’ve heard of these famous brothers. The painting is so complex and in spite of the this, the Presidents are so easily recognized. I did some study of the Zhou Brothers and also the symbolism of 7 presidents. This is what I found.

    The number 7 (七, Pinyin: qī) symbolizes “togetherness”. It is a lucky number for relationships. It is also recognized as the luckiest number in the West, and is one of the rare numbers that is great in both Chinese and many Western cultures. It is a lucky number in Chinese culture, because it sounds alike to the Chinese character 起 (Pinyin: qi3) meaning arise.

    Fantastic. Thanks Chipsticks,


  4. 4 barb
    January 21, 2011 at 4:28 pm

    Oh dear, excuse me. The number of Presidents are 8. Now I am really confused. LOL
    Anyway, here is the symbolism of the number 8 in Chinese culture.

    The word for “eight” (八 Pinyin: bā) sounds similar to the word which means “prosper” or “wealth” (發 – short for “發財”, Pinyin: fā). In regional dialects the words for “eight” and “fortune” are also similar, e.g. Cantonese “baat3” and “faat3”.

    There is also a visual resemblance between two digits, “88”, and 囍, the “shuāng xĭ” (‘double joy’), a popular decorative design composed of two stylized characters 喜 (“xĭ” meaning ‘joy’ or ‘happiness’).

    The number 8 is viewed as such an auspicious number that even being assigned a number with several eights is considered very lucky.

    A telephone number with all digits being eights was sold for USD$270,723 in Chengdu, China.
    The opening ceremony of the Summer Olympics in Beijing began on 8/8/08 at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8 pm (local time).[1]
    A man in Hangzhou offered to sell his license plate reading A88888 for RMB 1.12 million (roughly USD164,000).[1]
    The Petronas Twin Towers in Malaysia each have 88 Floors.
    The KLM route from Hong Kong to Amsterdam is Flight KL888
    The United Airlines route from San Francisco to Beijing is Flight 888.
    Dragon Fish Industry in Singapore, a breeder of rare Asian Arowanas (which are “lucky fish” themselves, and, being a rare species, are required to be microchipped), makes sure to use numbers with plenty of eights in their microchip tag numbers, and appears to reserve particular numbers especially rich in eights and sixes (e.g. 702088880006688) for particularly valuable specimens.[2][3]
    The value of eight could also be linked with Buddhism and the meaning of Lotus flower (eight petals).
    As part of grand opening promotions, a Commerce Bank branch in New York’s Chinatown raffled off safety deposit box No. 888.
    An “auspicious” numbering system was adopted by the developers of 39 Conduit Road Hong Kong, where the top floor was “88” – Chinese for double fortune. It is already common in Hong Kong for ~4th floors not to exist; there is no requirement by the Buildings Department for numbering other than that it being “made in a logical order.”[4] A total of 43 intermediate floor numbers are omitted from 39 Conduit Road: those missing include 14, 24, 34, 64, all floors between 40 and 49; the floor number which follows 68 is 88.[4]

    • 5 Sue in Minnesota
      January 21, 2011 at 6:31 pm

      Wow Barb, I appreciate and am impressed by your insight. Thank you. Are you a numerologist?

      I am someone that yearns to be able to honestly call myself “artist”. I am merely creative….but so enjoyed the exposure to the artists, their work, and their inspirations. Awesome work of art, and an awesome gift.

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