Art Talk

The Prints of Zao Wou-Ki : Oriental Art & Cultural Centre
By Nikki Liaw

The Prints of Zao Wou-Ki

From left: Dr Cheah Thien Soong, Honorary Director, Dato’ Loy Thin Loy, YB Dato’Dr Hou Kok Chung, Mr A K Tan, Chairman of Elken Foundation, Ms Chin Yuen Seam, Director of OACA
The Oriental Art and Cultural Centre has been living up to its name and purpose strongly since it first opened its doors in 2010. Their mission to 'inherit and propogate Chinese traditional culture and art' means opportunities for us to appreciate this particular branch of art. What is refreshing is that they also 'keenly observes the advent of western modern art as our vision and future challenge is to further introduce and promote the borderless world of global art'.

A world-renowned Chinese French artist, Zao Wou-Ki's explorations into abstraction with influences from Impressionism, on top of his strong grounding in Chinese ink painting, make him one of the most successful Chinese painters alive. A recent sale brought his record price to 2.8 million USD at Sotheby's in Hong Kong! His works continue to be in high demand among collectors, according to the New York Times.
On first sight, one can be forgiven for thinking they were not even Chinese paintings! Zao has brought the genre to another level, and these prints seem more to explorations of colour and tactile strokes; landscapes of feelings, or a feeling of landscapes, it is up to you to decide!
The fusion of Eastern and Western aesthetics can be seen not only in Zao's artworks but also his signature, which depicts his first name in Chinese characters and last name in  Western letters. His works have been described as 'modern Western abstraction enriched by a Chinese sensibility rooted in the past' (essay by Jonathan Hay).
Lithograph (2000)

These valuable prints are from the collection of Dato' Loy Thin Loy, who generously agreed to share them with the public: “It will be more significant if I can let more people enjoy them, rather than keeping them to myself.”
There was even a childrens' Printmaking Workshop held in conjunction with the exhibition. You have until 29 April to see these artworks in person, or you could view them at your leisure in our ArtMalaysia Magazine issue 19 coverage, out in June! Nevertheless, it is an opportunity not to be missed to view the works of a master Chinese artist.

A la gloire de l'image (2000)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are solely the current opinions of the author and should not be construed to reflect the opinions, policies or positions of any entity other than the author's.