The "Green Dog" series is immediately identifiable as one of Zhou Chunya's most recognized group of works. It has been described as "Sculpture on Canvas". The art critic Lu Peng says in Narrating the Green Dog, "His dog was a big responsibility in the artist's life more so than human being. A dog as a companion has become an unconscious desire of many people living in cities and urban areas as they have become divorced and separated from nature. The loyalty and dependability of a dog is a comfort to people, and adds a depth of meaning, bringing color and feeling to an otherwise dull and meaningless life."
Zhou said the green dog as a symbol, a sign. "Green" represents tranquility, romanticism, lyricism, a state of quietness before an outburst of energy. Such a symbol makes sense when it is understood to represent the image of Heigen, his beloved dog. In 1999, the death of Heigen from illness caused Zhou great pain and he stopped painting green dogs. Then, in early 2001, once he had come to terms with his loss, he began to paint again his green dog. Almost in celebration of Heigen, he painted very big green dogs and the images produced were much more striking and exciting than before.
Taking a more expressionist viewpoint, Zhou placed the big green dog in the visual center of his canvases. The silhouette of the green dog against a huge white backdrop, the luxuriant texture of the paintwork and the heightened emotional displays of the dog, leave a deep impression on the viewer. The dog is brought into being through color and brush strokes. The pure existence of the subject is not so important anymore, the essence, the spirit of the subject is now express in the brush strokes. Whether the dog is standing, rolling, jumping or walking, its energy is so vividly captured and rendered that it seems the dog will respond immediately to our call, almost ready to bound from the canvas. The big green dog is a true expression of the artists understanding of the meaning of a great friend that he was lucky to encounter in his life.