Centennial retrospective exhibition of Zao Wou-Ki opens
Official poster of The Way Is Infinite: Centennial Retrospective Exhibition of Zao Wou-Ki. [Provided to ezhejiang.gov.cn]
The Way Is Infinite: Centennial Retrospective Exhibition of Zao Wou-Ki, co-curated by the Art Museum of China Academy of Art and the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation, officially opened at the Art Museum of CAA in Hangzhou, East China’s Zhejiang province on Sept 19, 2023.
The exhibition is a key project sponsored by the Zhejiang Culture and Art Development Fund, a major cultural program of the 19th Asian Games Hangzhou and a program of the 2024 China-France Year of Culture and Tourism.
The exhibition showcases over 200 pieces of Zao's important oil paintings, watercolors, lithographs, and porcelain paintings, as well as related visuals belonging to Zao's wife Françoise Marquet, prominent collectors and art institutions across the globe, including the Centre Pompidou, Le Centre national des arts plastiques, the Musée Cernuschi, National Gallery Singapore, Hong Kong Museum of Art, M+ in Hong Kong, China Art Museum, Suzhou Museum, Deji Art Museum, and Art Museum of CAA.
Significant works shown include Hangzhou-themed pieces, such as My Home in Hangzhou, and My Father's Garden, as well as his representative works like the triptych Homage to My Friend Henri Michaux, and Homage to François, and the diptych Homage to Cézanne.
Born in Beijing in 1920, Zao Wou-Ki was a world-famous Chinese-French painter. He was admitted to the Hangzhou National College of Art (now the CAA) in 1935 and worked as an instructor at the school after graduating in 1941, before traveling to France for further studies in 1948. In 2003, he was elected a lifelong member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts. He died in Switzerland in 2013.
Zao blended Chinese and Western elements to create a distinctive artistic style. With his artworks collected in more than 150 major museums and art galleries worldwide, such as the Centre Pompidou in France, Tate Modern in the UK and the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museum of Modern in the US, Zao has made unique contributions to cultural exchanges between the East and the West.
Zao Wou-Ki once said: “I hailed from China so I could go back to China.” Deeply rooted in Chinese culture, he maintained a close connection with his homeland and the people there throughout his life. As a fervent champion of the creative adaptation and development of traditional Chinese culture, he dedicated his life to interpreting the Chinese art spirit in modern language.
The exhibition will run until February 20, 2024, according to the organizers.