On the occasion of the exhibition “Zao Wou-Ki. L’espace est silence”, the Society of Friends of the City of Paris Museum of Modern Art is releasing a new collection from the artist. The latter was made from a set of pieces painted directly on porcelain by Zao Wou-Ki in the Limoges Bernardaud workshops in 2005. During his visits, the artist became familiar with the constraints of porcelain colour glazes revealed only when fired.
Diverting brushes for India ink from his studio, Zao Wou-Ki shows during sessions in Limoges his taste and curiosity for new techniques and experimentation. He thus reconnects with the gestures he learned in the late 1920s from his grandfather, a great scholar of the end of the Qing Empire. This know-how long put aside, for fear of only being considered as an exotic Chinese painter, is renewed when his great friend Henri Michaux encouraged him in the 1970s to use the China ink technique on paper.
Zao Wou-Ki, in return, has modernized ancestral techniques, having faced American dripping and action painting in the late 1950s. In his inks, he affirms an unparalleled modernity, confirming his unique position between China and the West. This isn’t a simple transposition of the gestures of ink on paper anymore. He plays with the volume of the vase, literally running his brush all around the body, accentuating some volumes, evading others.
The Society of Friends of the City of Paris Museum of modern art has chosen to release a vase, a large coupe and four plates to promote the work of Zao Wou-Ki at the Bernardaud manufacture. The original vase, in a limited edition of 30 plus 3 artist’s proof, is given by Françoise Marquet-Zao and will join the collections of the Museum of Modern Art of the City of Paris.
Link to the website of the Bernardaud Manufacture