Chu Teh-chun

1920 Jiangsu Province, China – 2014 France

Introduction

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 Zao Wou-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, Zao Wou-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 for Promotion 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; Bibliothèque Nationale, 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.



SELECTED EXHIBITIONS

2016  

  • Alisan Fine Arts: Celebrating 35 Years of Promoting Chinese Contemporary Art, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong

2012       

  • “Important Contemporary Chinese Artists” by Alisan Fine Arts, Art HK 12, Hong Kong Convention & Exhibition Centre, Hong Kong

2009       

  • “De neige d'or et d'azur” Chu Teh-chun et la Manufacture de Sèvres, Musee Guimet, Paris, France  
  • Alisan Fine Arts at the Hong Kong International Arts & Antiques Fair, Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Centre, Hong Kong

2008       

  • Chu Teh-chun 88 Retorspective, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Lavis, Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris, France

2007       

  • 3rd Shanghai Ink Biennial, “Exploration: New ink Art Shanghai”, Zhu Qizhan Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • Ueno no Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan
  • Exhibition Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China 2007, Central Library, Hong Kong

2005       

  • Maison Elsa Triolet-Aragon, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, France
  • J. Bastien Art Galerie, Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Shanghai Art Museum, China

2004       

  • Macao Museum of Art, Macau
  • “Chu The-chun and His Universe”, University of Hong Kong Museum and Art Gallery, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

2002       

  • Galerie Darga, Bali, Indonesia
  • Angel Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

2001       

  • Museum of Art, Guangdong, China

2000       

  • Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
  • Shanghai Museum, China

1999       

  • Alisan Fine Arts, “Of Poetry and Music,” works in ink on paper

1998       

  • Galerie Enrico Navarra, Paris
  • Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris

1997-98  

  • Travelling exhibition featuring works from 1985-96 jointly organised by l’Association Française d’Action Artistique, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, France and the museums being visited. Venues included the National Museum of Fine Arts, Beijing; Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong; Museum of Fine Arts, Kaohsiung, and the Taipei Museum of Fine Arts, Taiwan

1997       

  • Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong

1994       

  • Municipal Gallery, Vitry, France, with catalogue prefaced by Raoul-Jean Moulin
  • Trigano Gallery, Paris, France. Chu signed the Cercle d’Art Volume by Pierre Cabanne

1991       

  • Large scale paintings, Museum of Contemporary Art, Dunkerque, France

1988       

  • Museum of Modern Art, Liège, Belgium
  • Travelling exhibition in 14 departmental and municipal cultural centres, and the Taiwan Museum of Art

1987       

  • Retrospective exhibition, National Museum of History, Taiwan

1986        

  • Hong Kong Institute for the Promotion of Chinese Culture, Hong Kong

1984       

  • Large exhibition at the Municipal Theater, Esch-sur-Alzette, Luxembourg

1982       

  • Paintings and drawings, retrospective 1955-1982, André Malraux Fine Arts Museum, Le Havre, France

1978       

  • Saint-Etienne Cultural Centre, France.

1973       

  • Horn Gallery, Luxembourg

1972       

  • Mikeldi Gallery, Bilbao, Spain

1970       

  • Royal Luxembourg Gallery, Nice

1969       

  • Roger Le Grall Gallery, Paris

1965       

  • Latzer Gallery, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland

1962       

  • Baier Gallery, Mainz, Germany

1960       

  • Legendre Gallery, Paris

1958      

  • Le Haut Pavé Gallery, Paris

1954       

  • Zhongshan Tang, Taipei, Taiwan


SELECTED COLLECTIONS

Museum of Contemporary Art, Liège, Belgium

Shanghai Opera House, Shanghai, China

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France

Musée d’Art Contemporain, Dunkerque, France

Musée Bertrand, Chateauroux, France

Musée de Pierrefeu, Nice, France

Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France

Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France

Maison de la Culture de la Société des Eaux, Marseille, France

Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland

National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan

Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan

Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung, Taiwan

Hou Centing Cultural Eduction Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan

Dimensions Art Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan

Art Collection, St. Louis University, St. Louis, USA