Irene Chou’s theories of New Ink Painting inspired her to move away from conventional Chinese styles and experiment with different media and techniques, so as to find her own personal expression.
Born in Shanghai in 1924, Irene Chou received a modern education from St. John’s University in 1945. Leaving Shanghai to settle in Hong Kong in 1949, she began to study Chinese painting under Zhao Shao’ang (1905-1998), an artist of the Lingnan School. Chou later studied under the tutelage of Lu Shou-Kun (1919-1975), whose theories of New Ink Painting inspired her to move away from conventional Chinese styles towards abstract forms. She explored, through her paintings, the inner workings of the mind and its relationship to the mysteries of the universe. Her abstract paintings from the 1980s onwards exploded with a stunning energy; these powerful works have rendered her as one of the most innovative artists of the New Ink Painting movement in Hong Kong.After a stroke in 1991, Irene relocated to Brisbane, Australia, where she continued to paint more determinedly than ever. Today, her works are collected by the British Museum, the Chinese University Museum, the Fung Ping Shan Museum and the Hong Kong Museum of Arts, the University of Hong Kong, the City Gallery in Manila, the Boston Museum of Fine Arts, the National Arts Centre, the National Museum of History in Taipei, the Queensland Art Gallery and the Melbourne Raya Gallery in Australia.
Irene Chou passed away in 2011. She is survived by 3 children, four grandchildren and three great grandchildren.