NOËL Bernard, Extract from « Au bord du visible » (The border of things visible), foreword for Zao Wou-Ki – Grands formats (Zao Wou-Ki - Oversize paintings), Cercle d’Art Editions, Paris, France, 2000 (p. 19)
(…) "Perception has its own truth and, color, its own nature. Shape calls for its nature in color and its truth in perception. One can observe this call in the essence of Zao Wou-Ki’s paintings, although it is often mistaken for a wave, a backwash, because appearance helplessly stands for the field of illusions. However, appearance is inevitable and one would create it while rejecting it. Consequently, appearance is required, for concealing inner nature with a face or making the violence in play in any expression appear likeable.
How can one express oneself without committing an act of display? One must throw oneself inside out, and the more drastic the more faithful such ejection. Then appearance is no longer a distinguished piece of clothing, rather, the skin covering one’s raw being. Zao Wou-Ki’s paintings are prudish through the intensity applied to the unveiled experience represented by each of them. Finally, the aesthetic perspective pertaining to each painting represents its best veil: it moves perception towards the art and no longer towards its truth. (…)."