Chinese-French painter Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013) was born in Beijing and moved to Paris when he was 28, incorporating a Western modernist aesthetic with Chinese sentiments and techniques.
Zao’s works, influenced by Paul Klee, are orientated to abstraction. He names them with the date in which he finishes them, and in them, masses of colours appear to materialise a creating world, like a big bang, where light structures the canvas. He worked formats in triptychs and diptychs. While his work was stylistically similar to the Abstract Expressionists whom he met while travelling in New York, he was influenced by Impressionism. Zao Wou-ki stated that he had been influenced by the works of Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne.
His meetings with Henri Michaux pushed him to review his Indian ink techniques, always based in Chinese traditional drawings. Zao was a member of the French Académie des Beaux-Arts, and was considered to have been one of the most successful Chinese painters during his lifetime.