Zhou Ling's graduation, marriage, and assignment to Yunnan
occurred on the eve of the Cultural Revolution. Her job in Kunming
was to teach art in an Institute of Art and Culture for party
officials. The "art" institute was actually a school
for propaganda techniques, and Zhou Ling's skills were called
upon to make propoganda posters. Zhou Ling said that by 1971,
when the Cultural Revolution's political energy began to wind
down, she was able to paint by herself.
Zhou Ling has been influenced by ancient frescoes, painted pottery, and sculptures. She paints beautiful, earth mother-type women. Large and powerful, they more than confirm Chairman Mao's maxim that "women hold up more than half the sky."
In 1991, Zhou Ling traveled to Hawaii. She had been commissioned to do a series of paintings for the Grand Wailea Resort & Spa. Zhou Ling was overwhelmed by the natural beauty of Maui. The tropical environment reminded her of earlier life in the verdant jungles of Yunnan Province. The landscape, its flora and fauna, and people who were Polynesian in appearance brought back memories of the ethnic minority groups of her homeland.