Chu Teh-Chun

1920 Jiangsu Province, China – 2014 France


Born in Jiangsu Province in 1920, China, Chu Teh-Chun attended the Hangzhou National College of Art 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 Nicolas de Staël, 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 150 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 four 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; Taipei Museum of History; Taipei Fine Art Museum; Shanghai Grand Theatre. 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 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.

Born in Jiangsu Province, China
1935-40     Attended the Hangzhou National College of Art, China, studied under the tutelage of Lin Fengmian, alongside artists Chao Chung-hsiang, Wu Guanzhong, and Zao Wou-ki
1941     Taught drawing at the Central University, Nanjing, China
1949     Taught drawing at the National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
1955     Moved to Paris, France
1956     After viewing a major exhibition of works by Nicolas de Staël, that Chu became an exponent of Lyrical Abstraction
1958     First solo exhibition in Europe
1961     First solo exhibition in Paris
1976     Returned to practice calligraphy that he learned in childhood
1979     Met Lin Fengmian in Paris
1981     Obtained French nationality
Met Wu Guanzhong in Paris
1983     Invited by the Chinese University of Hong Kong to sit as a juror 
fFrst time in 35 years that returned to China
1985     While exhibiting in Geneva, Switzerland, he witnessed a snowstorm that inspired him and created famous "Series of Snows"
1986     Invited to Hong Kong University and Taiwan to attend a conference. This is his first time back on the island he left in 1955
2014     Passed away in Paris, France


  • Chu Teh-Chun: In Nebula, Giorgio Cini Foundation, Venice, Italy


  • Chu Teh-Chun documentary film screening, Celeste Bartos Theater, Museum of Modern Art, New York, USA



  • ​ Fondation Monticelli, Marseille, France  


  • Retrospective Exhibition, Pinacotheque de Paris, Paris, France


  • Chu Teh-Chun Retrospective, National Art Museum of China, Beijing, China


  • De neige d'or et d'azur: Chu Teh-Chun et la Manufacture de Sèvres, Musee Guimet, Paris, France  


  • Chu Teh-Chun 88 Retrospective, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
  • Chu Teh-Chun: Lavis, Galerie Patrice Trigano, Paris, France


  • Profound Image: A Retrospective of Chu Teh-Chun, Ueno Royal Museum, Tokyo, Japan


  • Chu Teh-Chun: Paintings, Marlborough, New York, USA


  • Chu Teh Chun: Recent Works, Shanghai Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • Recent Ink Works 2005 by Chu Teh-Chun, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
  • Maison Elsa Triolet-Aragon, Saint-Arnoult-en-Yvelines, France
  • J. Bastien Art Galerie, Bruxelles, Belgium
  • Arsenal of Metz, France


  • Chu Teh-Chun and His Universe, Le French May, Alisan Fine Arts, University of Hong Kong Museum and Art Gallery, Hong Kong
  • Paysagism des Songs: Chu Teh-ChunLa Malmaison, Cannes, France
  • Large Gestures - Paintings by Chu Teh-Chun, Macao Museum of Art, Macau


  • Chu Teh-Chun, Palais Garnier, Paris, France
  • Chu Teh-Chun, Shanghai Grand Theatre, Shanghai, China

  • Exposition Ecouter l’Univers, Jing Yi University, Taichung, Taiwan


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


  • Chu Teh-Chun, Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China


  • Chu Teh-Chun 1987-2000, Shanghai Museum, Shanghai, China


  • Of Poetry and Music, Ink Paintings by Chu Teh-Chun, Le French May, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong


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


  • 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


  • Unlandscapes: A Poetic Expression, Le French May, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong
  • Trigano Gallery, Paris, France. Chu signed the Cercle d’Art Volume by Pierre Cabanne


  • 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


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


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


  • Retrospective Exhibition, National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan


  • Chu Teh-Chun Works on Paper, Hong Kong Institute for the Promotion of Chinese Culture, Hong Kong


  • Large exhibition, Sochaux Maison de la Culture et des Loisirs, Loisirs, France


  • Large exhibition, Municipal Theater, Esch-Sur-Alzette, Luxembourg


  • Paintings and Drawings, Retrospective 1955-1982, André Malraux Fine Arts Museum, Le Havre, France


  • Retrospective ExhibitionSaint-Etienne Cultural Centre, France


  • Horn Gallery, Luxembourg


  • Mikeldi Gallery, Bilbao, Spain


  • Royal Luxembourg Gallery, Nice, France


  • Roger Le Grall Gallery, Paris, France


  • Latzer Gallery, Kreuzlingen, Switzerland


  • Baier Gallery, Mainz, Germany


  • Legendre Gallery, Paris, France


  • Le Haut Pavé Gallery, Paris, France


  • Zhongshan Tang, Taipei, Taiwan



  • Ink in Motion: A History of Chinese Painting in the 20th Century, Cernuschi Museum, Paris, France






  • Hong Kong International Arts & Antiques Fair, Alisan Fine Arts, Hong Kong Exhibition & Convention Centre, Hong Kong


  • 3rd Shanghai Ink Biennial: Exploration: New ink Art Shanghai, Zhu Qizhan Art Museum, Shanghai, China
  • Exhibition Celebrating the 10th Anniversary of Hong Kong’s return to China 2007, Hong Kong Central Library, Hong Kong



  • Signes Premiers : Riopelle, Kijno, Chu Teh-ChunPalais Montcalm, Québec, Maison de la culture Mercier, Montréal, Canada; Musée amérindien de Pointe-Bleue; Musée d'art de Joliette, France


  • 10th Biennale São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil


  • International Art Exhibition, Carnegie Art Institute, Pittsburgh, USA


  • Group Exhibition, with Li Keran, Chongqing, China


  • Group Exhibition, with former professors and Zao Wou-ki, Chongqing, China


Officier de l’Ordre National du Mérite, France
Médaille d’Or du Mérite Européen, Luxembourg 
Chevalier de l’Order des Palmes Académiques, France
Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur , France
Inducted into the Institut de France, as a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, the first Chinese-born person to be so honored
Silver medal, Salon des Artistes Français, France

Musée Cernuschi, Paris, France
Musée national des Arts asiatiques - Guimet, Paris, France

Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville, Paris, France
Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris, France
Fonds National d’Art Contemporain, Paris, France
Patrimoine National, Paris, France
Musée d’arts de Nantes, Nantes, France

Musée d’Art Contemporain, Dunkerque, France
Musée des beaux-arts André Malraux, Le Havre, France
Musée Bertrand, Chateauroux, France
Musée de Pierrefeu, Nice, France
Musée Hyacinthe Rigaud, Perpignan, France
Maison de la Culture de la Société des Eaux, Marseille, France
Fonds départemental d’art contemporain du Val-de-Marne, France
Museum of Contemporary Art, Liège, Belgium

Olympic Museum, Lausanne, Switzerland
St. Louis University, St. Louis, USA
Musée National, Dacca, Bengladesh
Musée de Cuauhtemoc, Chihuahua, Mexique
Shanghai Grand Threatre, Shanghai, China
Guangdong Museum of Art, Guangzhou, China
Taipei Fine Art Museum, Taipei, Taiwan
National Museum of History, Taipei, Taiwan
Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung, Taiwan
Hou Centing Cultural Education Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan
Dimensions Art Foundation, Taipei, Taiwan
Hong Kong Museum of Art, Hong Kong