Be true to your time.
M aka Michael Chow was born in 1939 into a family of theater in Shanghai, China. His father Zhou Xinfang, the grandmaster of Beijing Opera, is regarded as a national treasure to this day. In his early years, M developed a passion for Beijing Opera, particularly the creativity and spontaneity which he inherited from his father, and he dreamed of following in his footsteps but this was not his fate.
At the age of 13, he was uprooted to London, England. He lost everything familiar, even his name. Alone in an alien world, he turned to painting. In 1956, he studied at Saint Martin’s School of Arts and the following year at the Hammersmith School of Building and Architecture. After painting vigorously for the next decade, despite one-man and mixed show exhibitions, M struggled to overcome the attitudes of exclusion that he often encountered.
To fulfill his void and loss of identity, he appointed himself as a cultural ambassador to bridge the East to the West. He founded his first restaurant, MR CHOW, on Valentine’s Day 1968, in Knightsbridge, London. Passionately promoting the greatness of China, M orchestrates art, architecture, design and cuisine into a participatory theater.
After a fifty-year radical sabbatical, M re-ignited his passion for painting. In
2015, his solo show “Voice For My Father” exhibited at the Ullens Center Museum for Contemporary Art in Beijing, China, followed by Power Station Museum in Shanghai, China. In late 2015 at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, “Voice For My Father” was conceived as homage to his father, this exhibition sets him center stage as creative master.