LEYMARIE Jean – Extract from Zao Wou-Ki, Cercle d’Art Editions, Paris, France, 1986 (pp. 48-49).

(…) "In May 1985, Zao Wou-Ki accepted the pressing invitation from his former school and went back to Hangzhou to teach painting and drawing for a month, whereas his wife taught at the same time history of modern art and museology. It was an unexpected and fascinating experiment, although exhausting when you give all you have, as during the adventure of the Salzburg seminar in 1970. During his journey, the artist stopped in Singapore in order to decide on the location of the oversize painting ordered by Pei for a building under construction in the city. The painting was to be hung in the main lobby. Zao Wou-Ki undertook this exceptional triptych of 2.80 meters high and 10 meters long (3+ 4+ 3) with elation and without any break during the whole summer from June until October, in the retreat of his countryside studio near Fontainebleau. This three-part painting characterized by its dialectical composition around the centre line represents, without any doubt, a sovereign accomplishment in his work. I had the opportunity to see this piece soon after its completion and, with a necessary backward step, I was subjected to its irradiating power, that the most faithful copy would not be able to convey. From the vast central hearth and its solar source with copper glow, suspended blue and green layers with fearless olive green and ultramarine blue, emerald and cobalt hues appear by contrast and dilate towards the borders. The immense energy shuffling and unifying the melting space is combined with the tremendous richness and variety of the molecular texture, lines, dots, spots, hatchings, rubbings and granulations. (…)

This book has no conclusion because Zao Wou-Ki’s outstanding work remains endlessly open in its physical splendor and spiritual plenitude. With a freer and freer force, it comes to terms with the complete symbiosis between the West and the East, energy and contemplation."

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