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Painting Dreams into Reality: A Housekeeper's Artistic Triumph over Life's Challenges

By Dai Yuan|Feb 06,2024

Chongqing - In a painting and calligraphy competition organized by Liangjiang New Area, Chongqing, Zhou Qin, a 50-year-old housekeeper, achieved a remarkable feat by winning the first prize. Zhou's unwavering pursuit of her artistic dreams has become a beacon of hope despite her ordinary profession.

The confined living space does not hamper Zhou Qin's pursuit of painting. (Photo/Li Ming)

Residing in a modest public rental housing unit of about 30 square meters with her son, Zhou Qin transforms this confined space into her personal sanctuary for painting after completing her daily housekeeping duties.

Influenced by her mother's skill in embroidering during her childhood, Zhou Qin developed a passion for painting as a student. Despite being financially constrained, she utilized every available surface, including the reverse side of notebooks and walls in her home, to express her artistic talents.

Zhou Qin took on employment at a sugar factory at the age of 16 to support her family. Once financially stable, she transitioned to clothing making under the tutelage of a local expert. Determined to broaden her horizons, she left her hometown of Chongqing for Guangzhou, where she worked in a clothing factory for a while and then pursued professional clothing design at the Textile and Garment Institute of Guangzhou University.

Zhou's academic achievements and dedication led her to work for a Taiwanese clothing company and eventually a role as a technical supervisor in Vietnam for nearly seven years.

Zhou Qin writes the sentence "life can only change when embraced with hope" on the wall to encourage herself. (Photo/Dai Yuan)

In 2022, a chance encounter with an online painting training video sparked a new chapter in her life. The dream of painting rekindled a sense of purpose, leading her to invest in face-to-face training with renowned Chinese traditional painter Zeng Gang. "I suddenly see the sunshine in my gloomy life," said Zhou.

While economically prudent in daily life, Zhou Qin expressed a willingness to invest generously in her learning journey. Her dedication to mastering the art of painting became the focal point of her life outside of housekeeping duties. Upon learning of her first prize in the painting and calligraphy competition, Zhou remains thrilled and resolute, inspired by her teacher's wisdom that life can only change when embraced with hope.  

For Zhou Qin, every moment dedicated to learning painting is a source of joy and immersion in a tranquil world. Her mindset serves as an inspiration to her son, who is currently navigating the challenges of starting a business.

Some painting works from Zhou Qin. (Photo/Li Ming)

"I still need to find another housekeeping work after the Chinese Spring Festival," said Zhou. Despite the need to secure another housekeeping job for basic living expenses, Zhou vows never to abandon her passion for painting. She envisions becoming a painting trainer after retirement, demonstrating that one can continuously pursue their dreams regardless of life's challenges.


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