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Cultural evolution - Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki

Article relating to a publication, 2012
Published by: Bonhams magazine
Year published: 2012
Number of pages: 2

image of Cultural evolution - Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki

Two page feature on Chinese painters Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki. The article, in Bonhams magazine was written by Helen Ho, an Asian art consultant. Titled Cultural evolution, the text pointed to the ways in which Paris was a destination of choice for artists from other parts of the world, in the mid 20th century postwar years, in ways not dissimilar to the extent to which London was a destination of choice for artists from other parts of the world, during the same period. The subtitle of the text read, “Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki moved to Paris after the Second World War. It enabled the pair to fuse Chinese techniques with Western practice”. Sentiments within the text, such as “Paris’ vibrant art scene inspired the pair to experiment beyond their cultural boundaries” resonate with equivalent expressions about the work of artists from Asia, Africa and the Caribbean in London in the mid 20th century.

The text was liberally illustrated with a page of artists’ images and portraits of Chu and Zao. Appearing on pages 50 - 51 of the Spring 2012 Issue 30 of Bonhams magazine, the text began as follows:

“With careers spanning over six decades, Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki are two of the most important living Chinese artists, and their works are found in the collections of more than 50 museums worldwide. Coincidentally, both artists have contradicted the adage that the best work of an artist is from the early period of their career. It is the late work of Chu and Zao that sealed their place in history.

For their part in revitalising and expanding Chinese artistic traditions, Chu Teh-Chun and Zao Wou-Ki have built a bridge between its past and future. For 60 years, their lives and careers have followed a remarkably similar path despite having little personal contact, since they were, as Chu once noted, “indirectly competitors”.”

The text lets it be known that “Zao’s first solo exhibition in Paris took place in 1949 at Galerie Creuze.” and that Chu’s “first solo exhibition [took place] at Galerie du Haut-Pavé in 1958.”

Within a year or so of the text being published, Zao died, on 9 April 2013.


Related people

»  Chu Teh-Chun

Born, 1920 in Anhui, China

»  Zao Wou-Ki

Born, 1920 in Peking, China. Died, 2013