Chu Teh-Chun (1920 – 2014)
Chu Teh-Chun was a Chinese-French abstract painter who pioneered the integration of traditional Chinese painting techniques with Western abstract art. Born on October 24, 1920 in Hangzhou, China, he studied at the National School of Fine Arts, now known as China Academy of Art, where he met fellow artists Wu Guanzhong and Zao Wou-Ki, with three friends becoming affectionately known as the “Three Musketeers” of Chinese Modernist Art for their inventive and influential practices. In 1949, he moved to Tapei where he taught at the National University before moving to Paris in 1955. There, he was strongly influenced by the abstract works of Nicolas de Stäel, which encouraged him to move away from figurative painting entirely. By 1964 his burgeoning career was boosted enormously by an exhibition at the Carnegie Art Museum in Pittsburgh, and in 1987, the Taipei Museum of National History also mounted a major retrospective of Chu’s work. He died on March 26, 2014, in Paris, France, soon after the deaths of his lifelong friends Wu Guanzhong and Zao Wou-Ki. Today, his works are held in over 50 museums worldwide.