Zuoxiao Zuzhou

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Zuoxiao Zuzhou
Zuoxiao Zuzhou performing at Beijing in March 2010
Background information
Birth name Wu Hongjin
Born (1970-03-04) March 4, 1970 (age 45)
Jianhu, Jiangsu, China
Genres Folk, rock, country, experimental, blues, folk rock
Occupation(s) Musician, Artist
Instruments Vocals, Guitar, Violin
Years active 1993–present
Website Zuoxiao Zuzhou Official Website

Zuoxiao Zuzhou (Chinese: 左小祖咒) (b. Yancheng, March 4, 1970), real name Wu Hongjin, (吴红巾),is a Chinese musician and artist.

Zuoxiao Zuzhou is also a notable music producer. He has produced and arranged Chinese famous artist ---- Ai Weiwei's first rock album The Divine Comedy. The soundtracks from the album are featured prominently in Ai Weiwei's documentary films.

Growing up, he founded the rock band No and was a member of the Beijing East Village art collective.[1] He has also contributed to the Huayi Chinese Festival of Arts at the Esplanade, Singapore,[2] and provided vocals for the song "A Walk in the Park" on Cowboy Junkies 2010 album Renmin Park.[3] In 2008, he released the two-disc You Know Where the East Is.[1]

The meaning of Wu Hongjin's stage name, Zuo xiao (left , little ) Zu zhou (ancestor , curse ) reflects that everyone called him "unclear" or "unreliable" (没谱, méipǔ).[4] Or that it is just for sound and has no meaning.[5]


Early Life[edit]

Original name Wu Hongjin, grown up in a waterman family, joined army and later He also experienced usual life on the street when he was young. 1993, he came to Beijing after life in Shanghai. He established “Beijing East village” which has a far-reaching impaction on Chinese Contemporary Art with some other artists in East suburb. At same time, he founded NO band with Ye Qian, and changed his name to Zuoxiao Zuzhou as the vocal, guitarist, violinist and composer. He has been suspected as a crime suspect for eastern chemical factory case, and the police put him in prison with no reason for twenty days before the hand-over days of Hong Kong.

Early Masterpiece Album[edit]

His first album, "The Missing Master" was distributed in 1998. The album "Trip To The Temple Fair" was distributed in the second year. These two albums has obtained the top album in the Rock magazine at that year. The third album "Zuoxiaozuzhou At Di'anmen" won the market which make his become the most appealing and influence rock star in Chinese rock fans.

Important Exhibitions[edit]

1999, The work "Increased To Famous Mountains One Meter" was presented in the 48th Venice International Biennale which collective created by Zuoxiao Zuzhou and other several artists from Beijing East.

The Most Expensive Album[edit]

2005, Self published album "I can not sit sadly by your side". At the second year, "The U.S.A", a film soundtrack album was released, sells $25 each which set a new record in Chinese music album. Two years later, double disc "You Know Where Is The East Side" was published, sells $85 each, makes the most expensive album record.

All the Best concert[edit]

March 19, 2010, Zuoxiao Zuzhou hold his first solo concert "All The Best" in Beijing century theatre, the whole team include: Ai Weiwei, Ning Hao, Meng Jinghui, Jia Zhangke, Zhu Wen, Li Yanliang, Fang Wuxing and so on. The concert DVD version was released on March, 2012.

Major awards[edit]

"You Know Where The East is" has awarded Southern Weekly annual culture original music in 2009. "Big Deal" has awarded nine nominations of Chinese Music Media Award in 2010, he obtained The Best Mandarin Male Singer, and Best composer award.

Banned Drama[edit]

On April 24, 2011, when Zuoxiao Zuzhou as the grand finale artists who performed in ZhouZhuang folk poetry festival, some audience screamed the name of Ai Weiwei and on the background Weibo screen screened content related to Ai Weiwei. Thus, he has prohibited to participated any commercial performance in China, include KAMA LOVE music festive in June.

Banned Removed[edit]

After releasing "The Missing Master" and "The Trip to Temple Fair", he signed a contract with Modern Sky music company another time in 2004. On Sep 23, 2014, album "We Need A Troublemaker" has been published. The same year, he participated music festival in Wuhan, Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Chengdu, Kunming, Changsha, Xiamen, Dali and son on include Strawberry, Lebao music festival in succession which means he has been remove banned.

No 13 Qianjiatang Wujin District Changzhou demolition case[edit]

On Double Nine Festival 2012, The house of Zouzhou’s father-in-law where located in Qianjiatang Wunjin District Hangzhou was forced demolition. The news triggers great attention in society; Hence, many celebrities posted Weibo message to support including Li Chengpeng, Yao Chen, Li Kaifu, Han han, Hong Huang, Murong Xuecun, Han Zhiguo, Yu Jianrong, and Luo Yonghao and so on. Zuoxiao Zuzhou went back home immediately to stop demolition. After, Ling Guangyao who is the secretary of Changzhou Wujin Hi-tech development district stated that before any nigotioniation with his family, the house will not be demolished. Moreover, the neighbor house also will not be demolished in order to avoid trouble. However, rumors on the internet about the famous nail household has never been stopping.

Media Exposure[edit]

February 2014, German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung and Swiss newspaper Tages-Anzeiger carried a cover story about Zuoxiao Zuzhou. His photos was chosen by several famous magazine in China as their cover photos including GQ. ELLE MAN, Esquire, City Magazine and FHM magazine.

Arrange/Produce Ai Weiwei’s Album The Divine Comedy[edit]

August 12, 2009, Ai Weiwei was invited by the lawyer of Tan Zuoren up to the court in Chengdu, and Zuoxiao Zuzhou and other people went to Sichuan together. In the early morning,Chengdu Police broke into door and hit the head of Ai Weiwei. And then, Ai was illegally detained till the end of the case to trial. The story was made into a documentary *Lao Ma Ti Hua*, Zuoxiao Zuzhou as the soundtrack producer. On June 6, 2011, Ai was released by the authorities after illegal detention for 81 days, Zuoxiao Zuzhou begin to produce Ai’s rock album The Divine Comedy. The album was finished in 2013, and was published in the United States.

Collaboration with Cowboy Junkies[edit]

In 2010, Zuzhou contributed music, lyrics and vocal in Cowboy Junkies’ song A Walk in The Park in the their album Renmin Park. In the same album, Cowboy Junkies covered Zuzhou’s song I Cannot Sit Sadly By Your Side. The band member Michael Timmins called Zuoxiao Zuzhou “China’s Leonard Cohenin” in an interview with the National Public Radio (NPR).

Speech at Berkeley[edit]

In 2013, Zuzhou was invited to deliver a speech at the University of California, Berkeley, titled “China” in Zuoxiao Zuzhou’s Music and Art. Cowboy Junkies’ member Michael Timmins joined the event as the discussant.

Voice Acting in Under the Dome[edit]

February 28, 2015, Zuzhou performed PM2.5 in the animated session PM2.5’s Confession of Chai JIng’s documentary film Under the Dome. Hitting over 10 million views 24 hours after its release, the film successfully called for public attention to the air pollution in China before the National People’s Congress and the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference.


  • The lost master 《走失的主人》1998
  • Trip to temple fair 《庙会之旅》1999
  • Zuoxiao Zuzhou at Di'anmen 《左小祖咒在地安门》 2001
  • I cannot Sit Sadly by Your Side 《我不能悲伤地坐在你身旁》2005
  • The USA《美国》2006
  • You Know Where the East Is 《你知道东方在哪一边》2008
  • Big deal 《大事》2009
  • Zuoxiao Zuzhou OST For Ai Weiwei Works No.1 《左小祖咒原声配乐No.1》 2010
  • Trip to temple fair II《庙会之旅II》2011
  • You Know The Enemy Is Over There《你知道对方在那一边》2011
  • Zuoxiao Zuzhou Head to Naizifang《左小祖咒去奶子房》2012
  • Love for Life《最爱》2012
  • I Never Tasted This Kind of Little Grape 《这小小的葡萄我从来没吃过》2013
  • The Ideal City 《一座城池》2013
  • We Need A Troubadour 《我们需要个歌手》2014
  • 2010-2013 Beijing Live 《2010-2013北京现场》2015

Zuoxiao Zuzhou use pigs and donkeys as icon metaphors in his album design for several times.

Art Events & Exhibitions[edit]


  • ‘Switch’, First Contemporary Art Exhibition of Xi'an, Xi'an Museum of Contemporary Art
  • ‘Integration’, T-Museum Opening Exhibition, Hangzhou T-Museum, Zhejiang


  • Spectacle Reconstruction –Chinese Contemporary Art,MODEM Centre for Modern and Contemporary Arts,Hungary
  • Voice of the Unseen, Collateral event of the 55th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale Di Venezia
  • Walking with Pigs, Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archeology at Peking University
  • Individual Growth—the Momentum of Contemporary Art,Tianjin Art Museum、Shijiazhuang Art Museum
  • Fuck off 2, The Groninger Museum, the Netherlands


  • ‘Baptized - Art Under the Disaster’, CCD300 Contemporary Art and Design Center
  • ‘Down to earth’, Contemporary Art Collection Exhibition in Guangxi, You Ming Tang Art Center of MIXC, Nanning


  • ‘Slap’, Invitation Exhibition of Young Artists, Beijing Sanlitun four five Art Center, China
  • ‘Red Prescription’, Huangjueping Independent Image Art Space, Chongqing
  • ‘Elite Exhibition of Contemporary Art’, Dalian Zhongshan Museum of Art


  • ‘Interconnected’, Three Shadows Art Documentary, Beijing Three Shadows Photography Art Centre, China
  • ‘San Sheng Wan Wu’, Comprehensive Art Exhibition, Shanghai Zhengda Contemporary Art Exhibition Hall, China
  • ‘Museum on Paper’, Art & Investment Magazine, Beijing, China
  • ‘Get It Louder-Sharism’, Beijing Sanlitun Soho, Shanghai 800Show Creative Park, China
  • ‘Transition’, Contemporary Art Exhibition, Wenzhou Seventh Art Center, China
  • ‘Nature of China’, Contemporary Art Documentary, Suzhou True Color Museum, China
  • ‘Arles in Beijing’, The First Annual Caochangdi PhotoSpring, China
  • ‘The 4th China Independent Film Festival’, Institute of Drama and Film Studies, Nanjing University, China
  • ‘Passing China’, Contemporary Chinese Photography, Gallery Sanstorium, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • ‘3+X People And Things Around’, Contemporary Art Exhibition, China Art Archives and Warehouse, Beijing, China
  • ‘3+X/B Asks B Answers’, H.J.Y Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, China
  • ‘3+X Can Be More Poetic’, Contemporary Art Exhibition, Nanjing Shangdong Contemporary Art, China
  • ‘3+X’, Contemporary Art Exhibition, Arthur M. Sackler Museum of Art and Archeology at Peking University, China
  • ‘Contemporary Artist Photo Exhibition’, Today Art Gallery, Beijing, China
  • ‘You West, Me East’, Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Chengdu K Gallery, China
  • ‘You West, Me East’, Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shenzhen Art Museum, China
  • ‘You West, Me East’, Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Wuhan Art Museum, China
  • ‘You West, Me East’, Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, Xi’an Art Museum, China
  • ‘Dong Gallery New Art Show’, Dong Gallery, 798 Art District, Beijing, China


  • ‘New Art Revolution-Chinese Contemporary Art in Cuba’, National Museum of Fine Art, Havana, Cuba
  • ‘Yan Gerber International Arts Festival(1st)’, Yan Gerber Museum of Modern Art, Weichang County, Hebei Province, China
  • ‘Passing By China’, Contemporary Chinese Photography, Eli Klein Fine Art Gallery, New York, U.S
  • ‘So Sorry’, Ai Weiwei, Haus der Kunst, Munich, Germany
  • ‘Polar Region Tension’, Exhibition of Artists from Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu, Qisheng Gallery, Luodai Town, China
  • ‘China Imagery, City Flag’, Xi'an Qujiang International Contemporary Art Season, China
  • ‘Zhi Dong Da Xi’, Yuangong&Zuoxiao Zuzhou Exhibition, Shanghu Gallery, China
  • ‘Fluid Community’, Constellations, The First Beijing 798 Biennale, China
  • ‘Crap’, Chengdu Contemporary Art Exhibition, China
  • ‘2nd Mary Inn Media Clippings, Art Meets Rock’ n Roll’, Yugong Yishan Club, Beijing, China
  • ‘19 Games’, Chinese Contemporary Art Exhibition, T. Art Center, Beijing, China
  • ‘13 No Kaos’, Duffy Cigar Art Gallery, Kunming, Yunnan, China
  • ‘Reflection’-2009 New Art World Invitation Exhibition, Wall Art Museum, The Central Academy of Arts & Design, Beijing, China
  • ‘Reflection’-2009 New Art World Invitation Exhibition, West Lake Gallery, Zhejiang, China


  • ‘Chinese Complex’, Contemporary Art Exhibition, Huamao Center, Beijing,China
  • Hypallage, the Post-Modern Mode Of Chinese Contemporary Art, The OCT Art & Design Gallery, Shenzhen,China
  • ‘Maze II’, Asian Contemporary Art Center, Beijing, China
  • Palm Beach 3 Art Fair, Florida, U.S.
  • Art Basel Miami-China Art in the Beach, Florida, U.S.
  • ‘You Know Where the East is’, Imperial City Art Museum, Beijing, China
  • ‘Sky’ Famed Artists Gallery Show, Red Space Gallery, 798 Art District, Beijing, China
  • ‘Academy and Non-Academy’ Gallery Show, Yibo Gallery, Shanghai,China
  • Art Exhibition, Chongqing Art Festival
  • Sculpture Show, Loft, 798 Art District, Beijing China,
  • International Contemporary Art Exhibition, Shanghai Expo
  • Contemporary Art Exhibition, Beijing Expo,China
  • Art Exhibition, Yuangong Modern Art Gallery, Shanghai,China


  • ‘A Retrospective of Unnamed Art Group’, Shanghai Zendai Museum of Modern Art, China
  • Pingyao International Photography Festival, Shanxi, China
  • ‘Convection’ Retrospective of Collections at Three Shadows Contemporary Photography Center, Beijing,China
  • ‘I Love Contemporary Art Also’, Miao Feng Mountain, Beijing, China


  • ‘Seven’ Contemporary Art Exhibition, National Museum of Singapore
  • ‘A Retrospective of Contemporary Photography’, at Season Gallery, 798 Art District, Beijing,China
  • ‘Lianzhou International Photography Festival’, Guangdong, China
  • The 30th Hong Kong International Film Festival, Hong Kong


  • ‘The Amsterdam China Festival’, Amsterdam, Netherlands
  • ‘Art Forum Berlin’, Alexander Ochs Galleries, Berlin


  • ‘What’ Art Exhibition, Shanxi Art Museum, China


  • ‘Crusoe-Exhibition of Contemporary Art’, Post-Modern City, Beijing, China


  • Signboard, China Tour In Six Major Cities


  • Mad Dog Crying Over Graveyard, Sonic Factory, Hong Kong


  • 48th Venice Biennale, Italy


  • ‘Methodology’, song based on Jiang Zemin’s report on the 15th NPC ,China


  • ‘Sound of Origin’ Behavioral Art at a Fly-over, Dongbianmen, Beijing
  • ‘Add One Meter to Unnamed Mountain’, Behavioral Art, Miao Feng Mountain, Beijing
  • ‘New Year’s Voice’, Maxim’s Restaurant at Chongwenmen, Beijing


  • Founded the avant-garde artists commune ‘East Village’ of Beijing, as one of the masterminds

Film Scores[edit]


  • The Ideal City (Based on a Han Han Novel)


  • Life Is A Miracle By Gu Changwei
  • Very Sorry By Ai Weiwei


  • An Isolated Man By Ai Weiwei
  • Beautiful Life By Ai Weiwei
  • Hua Hao Yue Yuan By Ai Weiwei
  • San Hua By Ai Weiwei


  • 4851--May 12 Earthquake Student Victims List By Ai Weiwei
  • Old Mom Pettitoes By Ai Weiwei
  • Turtle's Road to Homeland By Dong Wensheng


  • Stab Me By Liu Jian


  • Fairy Tale By Ai Weiwei
  • Tale of Stone By Dong Wensheng
  • Seven Sages in Bamboo Forest By Yang Fudong
  • Golden Week By Li Hongqi
  • End Credit Music for Useless By Jia Zhangke


  • Too Much Rice By Li Hongqi
  • The World By Jia Zhangke
  • On Darkness Does Not Exist (Play) By Zhu Xiuyang


  • South of Cloud By Zhu Wen
  • Ru Meng Ling By Jin Feng


  • Channel Cave By Zhou Xiaohu
  • Eat Drink Play Joy By Ai Dan & Ai Weiwei


  • Mr. Honey By Zhou Xiaohu


  • Beautiful Mushroom Cloud By Zhou Xiaohu


  • Season of Taxi By Ma Yingli


  • Mad dog barks at the tomb《狂犬吠墓》, 2001
  • The Sad Boss 《忧伤的老板》 2010
  • Zuoxiao Zuzhou Guitar Tabs《左小祖咒有谱》, 2011

Work of art[edit]

  • ‘Add One Meter to Unnamed Mountain’, Behavioral Art, Miao Feng Mountain, Beijing,1995
  • ‘Methodology’, song based on Jiang Zemin’s report on the 15th NPC ,China 1997
  • ‘I Love Contemporary Art Also’, Miao Feng Mountain, Beijing, China 2007


  1. ^ a b Martinsen, Joel (August 20, 2008). "Rich painters and poor rock stars". Danwei.  External link in |title= (help);
  2. ^ Chow, Clara (January 21, 2006). "The great hoax of China; Refurbishment plans for the Great Wall of China and surreal videos and photographs are all part of this exhibition". The Straits Times. 
  3. ^ "Cowboy Junkies latest effort is deep; MUSIC;". Belleville Intelligencer. May 28, 2010.  External link in |title= (help);
  4. ^ Shanghai Books online 2011上海书展 《左小祖咒有谱》左小祖咒 孙孟晋" 2011年8月21日 – 嘉宾:你好,大家好,我是节目主持人左小祖咒。 主持人:左小祖咒这个名字就很有意思,为什么会起这个名字呢? 嘉宾:这个名字就是有点没谱的意思。 主持人:是有谱这回。 嘉宾:因为没谱才来出有谱的书嘛。 主持人:之前为什么说您没谱呢? 嘉宾2:因为大家都叫他没谱,我们都把他叫做没谱。 主持人:是人没谱还是歌没谱还是调没谱? 嘉宾2:其实他很有谱,但是在外面传言说他没谱。"
  5. ^ Shanghai Books online 2011上海书展 《左小祖咒有谱》左小祖咒 孙孟晋" 2011年8月21日 –他说自己之所以叫左小祖咒,就是为了好念,就像阿迪达斯一样没啥意义

External links[edit]