About the Artist

Photo of artist Bonnie Zhou

Bonnie Zhou is a multidisciplinary artist who examines the intersection of womanhood and diasporic Asian culture through calligraphy, dance, painting, glass, neon, and text. Originally from Toronto, Canada, she is now based in Brooklyn, New York.

A dancer as well as a painter, her figure paintings explore the relationship between body and emotion, inspired by her own experiences grappling with body image, sensuality, femininity and fetishization as an Asian woman. More recently, her calligraphic and textual work looks at the significance of ancestry, tradition, language, and the meaning of home in an immigrant family. 

Bonnie standing and smiling in front of her paintings

My story

As a kid, I spent all my free time jumping from one creative outlet to the next: singing, DIY fashion, bedroom decor, crochet, pottery, stained glass, photography, and dance. But my Asian immigrant family urged me to pursue only STEM fields, so I never thought of myself as an artist. I ended up getting a degree in computer science and a job as a software engineer.

After 6 years of trying my damnedest to be happy with a tech career, I burnt out. A leave of absence granted me time to explore my creativity again, so I took up drawing for the first time in 2 decades. Spending my days making art was a freedom that I couldn’t return from. At the end of my leave, I resigned from my job in 2022 to pursue a new career as an artist.

In the following year, I would create a collection of figure paintings and art prints, which sold successfully online and in-person. This gave me the confidence to explore other more niche forms of art. I fell in love with Chinese calligraphy, glasswork, neon bending, and typography. Knowing me, this list will probably continue to evolve! I will forever be a multi-passionate being and I'm so happy you're here to share this messy, chaotic, creative journey with me.

Bonnie laughing among autumn leaves

Some fun facts

💖 I'm a Scorpio sun/Leo moon/Aquarius rising

💖 I speak Cantonese fluently, and one day hope to also read Chinese fluently.

💖 My pandemic hobby was collecting and modeling luxury lingerie.

💖 I've been vegetarian since 2013.

💖 My first and deepest love is, and will always be, dance. It saved me.

💖 I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 28, which explained so much.

💖 My favourite icebreaker is fuck, marry, kill: bread, rice, or noodles? My answer: marry rice, fuck bread, kill noodles.