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Chu Teh-Chun

Coming from a family of collectors, Chu Teh-Chun had the chance to become familiar with Chinese calligraphy and painting at a very early age. It is therefore very natural that his vocation as an artist was born. After benefiting from the teaching of the Hangzhou School of Fine Arts, of which Lin Fengmian was president, he was appointed professor at the Central University of Nanjing in 1944. During the period of the Sino-Japanese war, Chu Teh-Chun was forced to travel through the various cities and villages of China: these journeys provoked his first artistic research, inspired by natural landscapes.

In 1955, he travels all over Europe and settles in Paris. Eager for knowledge, he punctuated his days with long visits to the Louvre, interspersed with regular sketching sessions at the Grande Chaumière or classes at the Alliance Française. The following year, he discovered the riches of Spain: Goya and Velázquez at the Prado, Greco in Toledo.
On his return to Paris, the Chinese artist was overwhelmed by Nicolas de Staël’s retrospective (Musée d’Art Moderne, 1956). He confides: “Slowly I turned to the thought inspiring traditional Chinese painting. I discovered the poetry that inhabits it and this way of observing nature that is close to Western neo-impressionist painting and even more so to abstract art” (interview with Gérard Xuriguera, in Les Années 50, Arted, 1984).

Chu Teh-Chun then found his identity and will not stop exploring abstract art. His art is born from the encounter between traditional Chinese painting and modern Western art. Moreover, he shows a strong attachment to space and nature. Maurice Panier, former artistic director of the Le Gendre gallery, speaks of “multidimensional space” to define the particular touch of the painter who cleverly combines space and structure.

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