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Mr Chow
Mr Chow aka Zhou Yinghua

Zhou Yinghua was born in 1939 into a family of theatre in Shanghai, China. His father Zhou
Xinfang, the grandmaster of Beijing Opera, is regarded as a national treasure to this day. In his
early years, surrounded by a loving family and a famous father, Yinghua developed a passion
for Beijing Opera, particularly the spontaneity and creativity which his father excelled at. Yinghua dreamed of being a great artist in the opera. This was not his fate.

At the age of 13, he was sent to London, England. He lost everything familiar—his family, his
language, his culture, even his name. Zhou Yinghua was re-branded Michael Chow. Alone and
devastated in an alien world, “Michael” struggled to assimilate but found solace in visual arts.

Art was a language Michael could grasp with ease and Michael’s childhood dream of being an artist shifted from opera to painting. Michael wanted nothing more than to be an artist, however, at that time, being a Chinese artist, he was often met with rejection and exclusion.

For over a decade, he scrapped and even starved. While he knew in his soul he had the talent and drive, he came to the conclusion that it was not enough. The world was not ready. Michael, sacrificing his art for his survival, decided to take a break, a break that became a long radical sabbatical.

He founded his first restaurant, MR CHOW, in 1968 in Knightsbridge, London. It became an international success spawning locations around the world. Michael thrived at designing, from specialty boutiques for Giorgio Armani, to his own restaurants and his home in Los Angeles.

Michael has continued to be involved in all walks of creativity from architecture, theatre and film. He is an appointed member of the Board of Governors for The Broad Museum.