Alisan Fine Arts is delighted to announce our fourth solo exhibition for renowned Chinese-French abstract artist, Chu Teh-Chun, the first was in 1997 for French May. Chu studied watercolor and oil painting at the National Academy of Art under Lin Feng Mian, alongside two other important artists Zao Wou-Ki and Wu Guanzhong. Chu’s signature abstract style came to be in 1956, after he moved to Paris and he attended a major exhibition of works by French artist, Nicolas de Staël, who is known for his abstract landscapes. His works are celebrated for his integration of traditional Chinese painting techniques including calligraphy with Western abstract art. This exhibition celebrates the centenary of the artist and will showcase a selection of works on paper which highlight his iconic abstract compositions and calligraphy.
In addition, to celebrate Chu’s centenary, a documentary film about his life will be premiered at the film section of French May. This 80 minute documentary is directed by Christophe Fonseca and co-produced by the Foundation CHU Teh-Chun. It reveals the artist’s unique style through a combination of creative staging, fiction and reality, dreamlike landscapes, artworks, and archive images, interspersed with previously unpublished quotes and conversations.
Opening Hours: Mon – Sat, 10:00am – 6:00pm
Copyright © 2021 French May Arts Festival in Hong Kong, Alisan Fine Arts & Foundation Chu Teh-Chun. All rights reserved
Born in Jiangsu Province in 1920, China, Chu Teh-Chun attended the National College of Art in Hangzhou from 1935 to 1940. He studied under the tutelage of Lin Fengmian, alongside artists Chao Chung-Hsiang, Wu Guanzhong, and ZaoWou-ki. He became interested in calligraphy and intended to study traditional Chinese ink painting, however, the academy lacked an ink painting department and so Chu studied watercolour and oil painting. As historical events unfolded in 1949 China, Chu left for Taiwan where he taught for a few years, before leaving for Paris via Vietnam and Egypt in 1955. When Chu first arrived in Paris, his paintings were still figurative in nature and imbued with the atmosphere and typical in style of the early twentieth century Paris School of art. It was in 1956, after viewing a major exhibition of works by Nicholas de Stael, that Chu became an exponent of Lyrical Abstraction. This was to become his signature painting style. Two years later in 1958, he had his first solo exhibition in Europe. Since then Chu’s paintings have appeared in over eighty exhibitions around the world, and alongside his contemporary, ZaoWou-ki, he has become a household name in the French and Chinese art world. Chu Teh-Chun passed away in 2014.
Alice King first met Chu Teh-Chun in 1986, during the opening reception for his exhibition at the Hong Kong Institute forPromotion of Chinese Culture. They spent the next decade corresponding, discussing art and culture, with King visiting Chu’s studio during her frequent visits to Paris. However, it wasn’t until 1997, during Le French May, that Alisan Fine Arts first held a solo exhibition for the artist, and since then has held three more solo exhibitions. Significantly, in 2004, Alice King curated a solo exhibition of his works at the University Museum and Art Gallery at the University of Hong Kong.
Chu’s paintings are widely collected and included in the holdings of many important museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art, Paris; BibliothèqueNationale, Paris; Museum of Contemporary Art, Liège; Olympic Museum, Lausanne; National Museum of History, Taipei; Taipei Fine Art Museum; Shanghai Opera House. In recognition of his contribution to painting, Chu Teh-Chun was inducted into the prestigious Institut de France, as a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in February 1999 — he was the first Chinese-born person to be so honored. Membership conveys the distinction of being amongst the most prominent living musicians, artists, architects, and sculptors in France.