Chinese artists by Michel Nau - Wu Guanzhong  吴冠中













Wu Guanzhong




©  Wu Guanzhong and Sang Huoyao


Wu Guanzhong and Sang Huoyao




1919  Wu Guanzhong was born on 29 August in Yixing, Jiangsu province, China 
His father was a farmer and teacher in  the village's primary school.

1932   After the primary school, he entered into Provincial Advanced Industry School,
( electronic machinery department ).

1934   He enrolled at the Zhejiang University, professional class ( section electrical engineering ).

1935   He met Chu Teh-Chun, visited hangzhou Art School and decided to devote himself to art.
He joined the Hangzhou Fine Arts.

1938   He learned oil painting from Chang Shuhong and Guan Liang and studied
traditional Chinese painting.
After used Wu Tucha as pseudonym, he changed into Tu, his signature on his works.

1942   Graduated from The National Hangzhou Fine Arts, he worked as an assistant
in Chongqing University, ( architecture department ).

1943  First solo exhibition in Shapingba Youth Palace in Chongqing

1946  He married  Zhu Biqin in Nanjing.
He was admitted to the examination of the  Ministry of Education allowing him
to continue his studies abroad.


1947  He moved to France and joined the E.N.S.B.A, Paris where he studied painting
with Professor Jean Dupas.The next year,  he entered in J.M.Souverbie' studio.

1948   He took part to the Salon of May .
During holidays, he went  in Italy and Switzerland to visit museums.
Returning to France, he participated to the Salon of Automn.


1950    The Republica of China established, he decided to return to Beijing.
He became a lecturer in C.A.F.A. for two years.  He painted landscapes for escaping
to the political patterns

1953    He transferred to architecture department of the University of Tsinghua.

1956- 1964    He led the oil painting  workshop at the Beijing Normal Academy of Arts,
newly installed.  During his holidays, he  liked to draw in Shanxi province, Mount Jinggang,

Hainan island, or in Zhejiang province, Yandang Mount.

1966-1971 During the Cultural Revolution, his works were destroyed by the Red Guards 
and he could not or paint or write, or teach. Despite poor health,he had to work the land
in the  village Li, County of Huolu, Hebei province.
His  wife lived in  Guiyang, Guizhou province.

1972  He was allowed to paint during holidays. For this reason he went to see his wife
and sketch from nature.

1978  First exhibition at  Central Academy of Arts and Crafts. 

1979  First solo exhibition in China National museum of Fine Arts in Beijing.

1981-1988  He visited Nigeria, Sierra Leone, Mali, Japan, India as the head of Chinese
Delegation of Fine Arts.

1991  He has been awarded the nomination of Officer of Arts and Letters by the French Minister
of Culture Jack Lang.

1992 He was the first Chinese artist to be exhibited during his timelife, in British Museum.

2002 A Retospective organized by  the Hong Kong Museum of Art exhibited 124 works.
A catalogue was published.
For this occasion, he donated 10 pieces of selected works to the Museum.
On March 6th, he was elected a corresponding member of the Fine Arts Academy in Paris,
( painting department ).

 He finished his autobiography I fail painting : Wu guanzhong's autobiography.
People'Literature Publishing House published it in June.

2005  A Retospective organized by Shanghai Museum exhibited 96 works, dating from the last decade. 
A catalogue was published.

He donated six works to Shanghai Art Museum.

2008   He donated 113works to the National Art Museum of Singapore.

2009  He donated 66  paintings to  the Shanghai Museum

2010  He  donated to the Museum of Hong Kong, five paintings, bringing to 52, the total number of paintings offered to the Hong Kong.

Wu Guanzhong died in the night of Friday June 25th, at a hospital in Beijing.

 D. Sicard


multiple sources : Like every synthesis, this biography only exists , thanks to the work of specialists that can be found in the books and catalogues indexed in the bibliography of this site.





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