In the 16th century classic Chinese novel – Journey to the West – a Buddhist monk travels to Asia to obtain scared texts finding enlightenment gained through spirituality and the virtue of cooperation.

It is somewhat profound that Joseph Qiu’s first drawing of the character Monkey King came from this very story. For Joseph, his philosophical musings need not define him, yet he concedes that he’s read Chinese historical novel – ‘Romance of the Three Kingdom’ – set in the turbulent years at the end of the Han Dynasty, just three times. It is hard not to align the intensity of colour and detail in Joseph Qiu’s work with his reading repertoire as much as with his inspirations found in James Jean and Yuko Shimizu, who he says, “really inspired me to become an illustrator in the first place”.


Indeed, Joseph’s creative expression can be described as stunningly striking, thought provoking and other worldly. Born in Shanghai, it’s curious that the 17th Century’s Golden Age holds such mesmerising appeal, but if he had his way he’d happily paint oil paintings undisturbed all day long. A movie loving, football and guitar playing Blues fan – Joseph can also claim to have notched up multiple awards during his already successful career.

Artist: Joseph Qiu

Email:  [email protected]

Phone:  +61 2 9380 6988


"Joseph’s work has a wonderful feeling of heightened realism, but it always manages to convey warmth and humanity. He has a real openness in his approach to the brief, which allows for a constructive dialogue as the work progresses. And we’re always extremely happy with the final illustration. A true professional who is a joy to work with.”

Derek Ward | Art Director ~ NZ Listener Magazine