JOHN YOUNG ZERUNGE was born in Hong Kong and moved to Australia in 1967. His first solo exhibition, The Second Mirage, was held one minute prior to noon on 6 April 1982 on the front door of a small stone cottage in the fishing village of Rosroe, Connemara, on the extreme west coast of Ireland.
John Young read philosophy of science and aesthetics at the University of Sydney and then studied painting and sculpture at Sydney College of the Arts. Young’s investigation of Western late modernism prompted significant phases of work from a bi-cultural viewpoint, including series of paintings in the last three decades – the Silhouette Paintings, The Polychrome Paintings, the Double Ground Paintings and the Abstract Paintings.
John Young has devoted a large part of his three-decade career towards regional development in Asia, and has participated in many regional group travelling exhibitions including Asialink’s Art from Australia: Eight Contemporary Views, (1991, South East Asian museums), Transcultural Painting (1994-5, Taiwan, China, Hong Kong), Systems End (1996, Japan and Korea) and Antipodean Currents (1995 USA). Young has regular solo exhibitions in Australia and also shows in Berlin and Hong Kong. Young was also seminal in establishing in 1995 the Asian Australian Artists’ Association (Gallery 4A), now the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, a centre for the promotion of Asian philanthropy and the nurturing of Australasian artists and curators.
Recently, John Young’s work has focused on transcultural humanitarianism including projects entitled Bonhoeffer in Harlemand Safety Zone. Bonhoeffer in Harlem, a tribute to Dietrich Bonhoeffer, was installed at St. Matthaus Church, Berlin in 2009, and recreated in Bamberg, Germany in 2013 as part of the city’s celebrations of its 1000-year-old history. Safety Zone, a tribute to 21 foreigners who saved the lives of 300,000 citizens during the ‘Rape of Nanjing’ in 1937, was exhibited at the University of Queensland Art Museum, Brisbane in 2011 and ANU Drill Hall Gallery, Canberra in 2013.
In 2005-06, a survey exhibition covering 27 years of works was held at the TarraWarra Museum of Art, Victoria, curated by Maudie Palmer. A second survey exhibition, The Bridge and the Fruit Tree,covering works from 2000-2012 was exhibited in February-March 2013 at Drill Hall Gallery, Australian National University, Canberra. Three separate monographs have been written on John Young’s works and projects by Dr. Graham Coulter-Smith (1993, Schwartz City Publications); Dr. Carolyn Barnes and William Wright AM (2005, Craftsman House, Thames & Hudson); and Dr Carolyn Barnes, Professor Jacqueline Lo and Terence Maloon (Australian National University Drill Hall Gallery).
For more information, please visit John Young's website here.