The Foundation

Our Mission

The Zao Wou-Ki Foundation works to promote the life and art of the painter Zao Wou-Ki (1920-2013).

Through its work, the Foundation honors the artist, safeguards his art and provides education to ensure the transmission of his creative vision to a younger generation.

About the Foundation

Registered in Switzerland while the artist was still alive under the Registre du Commerce du Canton de Genève, the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation supports artistic, cultural and administrative activities connected to the work of the artist. It acts under the oversight of the Swiss Federal Department of the Interior.

The Foundation neither owns nor sells work by Zao Wou-Ki.

Statutes and Administration

Members of the Board

Chairperson

Mrs. Françoise Marquet-Zao
Wife of Zao Wou-Ki and sole legatee and
sole owner of the moral right on his work
Artistic director
Mr. Yann Hendgen
Treasurer and member
Ms. Muriel Sutter

 

 

Vice President
Mr. Jean-François de Clermont-Tonnerre
Secretary and member
Mrs. Marie-Laure de Clermont-Tonnerre
Members

Mr. Pierre-Bruno Genon-Catalot
Mrs. Valentine Genon-Catalot
Mr. Philippe Pochet

Certification

Françoise Marquet-Zao was named as sole legatee in the holograph will and testament written
by the artist.
She is therefore the sole owner of the moral right of the artist and as president of the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation, the only person authorized to manage the artist’s artistic legacy.
In addition, Madame Marquet is a member of the company ProLitteris, a Swiss copyright-management organization.
ProLitteris works to protect copyrights belonging to its members around the world, via an international network of more than 50 companies which work together to defend and protect copyright in their respective territories.
The Zao Wou-Ki Foundation contributes to the management of the rights attached to the artist’s work (notably centering around reproduction, representation and resale).
Therefore, any request relating to the reproduction or representation of a work by Zao Wou-Ki should be addressed to the Foundation for consideration for authorization by Madame Marquet.
As the recognized expert in Zao Wou-Ki’s work, the Foundation is the only entity authorized to issue certificates of authenticity.
Any potential buyer of an original work by Zao Wou-Ki should contact the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation about its authenticity, before making an acquisition.
The Foundation takes care to issue all certificates of authenticity for works by the artist. Buyers choose not to request certification at their own risk and in doing so, may leave themselves exposed to counterfeiting.

Catalogue raisonné

During his lifetime, Zao Wou-Ki collected all the information he could about his work, in order to keep a record and ensure its continued existence. These archives, initiated under his supervision, constitute the richest existing source of information about the artist and his work. The outcome of this work is the publication of a catalogue raisonné, as the definitive listing of all known works by the artist.
The painted works of Zao Wou-Ki represent some 1,900 paintings dated between 1935 and 2008, when he decided to stop working with oil paints. In addition, are a currently unknown number of works on paper (drawings, watercolours, inks), decorative arts (carpets, tapestries, ceramics and china, stage sets), together with more than 400 stamps that are already part of a separate catalogue raisonné.
In 2015, the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation began to prepare the first volume of the catalogue raisonné of his paintings, 1935 – 1958.

Should you wish to check that the work(s) you own is (are) present in our archives and will therefore be reproduced in the future catalogue raisonné, please do not hesitate to contact us via the following form.  

Fighting Counterfeiting

Zao Wou-Ki is acknowledged throughout the world as one of the greatest contemporary artists of Chinese origin. The Zao Wou-Ki Foundation is dedicated to the preservation of the artist’s reputation and of the integrity of his work.

Counterfeiting is a global threat that seriously harms both the interests and the image of Zao Wou-Ki. The Foundation works tirelessly against counterfeiters attempting to appropriate Zao Wou-Ki’s work by circulating forgeries in the art market, in the hope of deceiving collectors about their authenticity.

To protect the interests of the collectors who have bought or are preparing to buy works by Zao Wou-Ki, the Foundation offers to certify, free of charge, the origin of any work attributed to Zao Wou-Ki, presented prior to a possible acquisition or exhibition. To date, the Foundation is the sole authority entitled to check the origin of the works that are attributed to Zao Wou-Ki, and to certify their authenticity.

The Foundation is supported in these endeavors by the French law firm FTPA, which has a broad and recognized expertise in the field of intellectual property, supported by a highly reactive worldwide network of legal experts.

Coordinated legal teams not only mean that investigations can be conducted quickly and closer to the identified sources of counterfeit products, but also that all appropriate measures are at the Foundation’s disposal to ensure the prosecution of illicit actions anywhere in the world.

Combined efforts in this area have allowed us to set up effective mechanisms for collaboration with the main online sales platforms, to stem the proliferation of counterfeit Zao Wou-Ki work over the past two years. Despite significant steps forward, the Foundation advises anyone considering buying a work by Zao Wou-Ki to be very prudent if they choose to purchase via a digital platform.
Zao Wou-Ki in his atelier, 1995, Hervé Pasquet

Contact

Zao Wou-Ki Foundation

c/o Fiduciaire Verifid S.A.
Rue du Rhône 100,
1211 Geneva 3, Switzerland

Chairperson

Mrs. Françoise Marquet-Zao

info@zaowouki.org

Treasurer

Ms. Muriel Sutter

info@zaowouki.org

Artistic director

Mr. Yann Hendgen

yann.hendgen@zaowouki.org

Assistant to Artistic director

MRS. Jade Lu

jade.lu@zaowouki.org

Press

presse@zaowouki.org

Detail of Zao Wou-Ki’s studio, 2011, Antoine Mercier

Detail of Zao Wou-Ki’s studio, 2004, Yann Hendgen

Counterfeiting contact:

Maître Philippe POCHET
Cabinet FTPAᅠ·ᅠ1 bis, avenue FOCH 75116 Paris, France
ppochet@ftpa.frᅠ·ᅠ+33 (0)1 45 00 86 20

It goes without saying that the timely cooperation of all involved will make a real difference in the fight against counterfeiting.

Forgery Caution Notice

The Zao Wou-Ki Foundation is a non-profit organization, dedicated to protecting the image of the late Zao Wou-Ki and preserving the integrity of his works worldwide.
It has come to our attention that an increasing number of forged etchings bearing a fake signature of Zao Wou-Ki, along with forged certificates of authenticity, are currently circulating on the market.
These forgeries are based on photographs of artworks by ZAO Wou-Ki taken from the Internet (paintings, works on paper, etchings) to make fake etchings, an example of which are reproduced below.
No certificates of authenticity pertaining to etchings have ever been delivered, either by Zao Wou-Ki himself while living or by the Zao Wou-Ki Foundation since his death. No other person or entity is entitled to produce such a certificate of authenticity for any artwork created by Zao Wou-Ki. We therefore strongly recommend being extremely suspicious as to any certificate of authenticity that could be delivered for the purposes of the purchase of any etching.
This is a matter of the utmost concern to the Foundation and highly detrimental to the interests and reputation of the late Zao Wou-Ki.

A catalogue raisonné of the etchings (comprehensive listing of all genuine etchings created by Zao Wou-Ki) was compiled by Jørgen ÅGERUP in 1994, entitled Zao Wou-Ki – The Graphic Work. A Catalogue Raisonné 1937-1995, Skørping, Heede & Moesturp, Denmark (237 p.), with an additional volume in 2000, Zao Wou-Ki, The Graphic Work 1995-2000, Skørping, Heede & Moesturp, Denmark (15 p.).

It is therefore advisable that any prospective sale or proposed public display/exhibition of an artwork attributed to Zao Wou-Ki, be immediately brought to the attention of the Foundation, in order to ensure the authenticity of the artwork.

All queries should be sent to our dedicated contact person at the Foundation:
Mr. Yann Hendgen, Art Director
Zao Wou-Ki Foundation
Rue du Rhône 100, 1211 Geneva 3, Switzerland
Email : yann.hendgen@zaowouki.org

Perpetrators of artistic forgeries and any dealer or agent who have knowingly concealed, offered for sale or put on the market such items are punishable by two years’ imprisonment and a fine of €75,000 without prejudice to the payment of damages (French Act of 9 February 1895).
We look forward to your cooperation and thank you for assisting us in our continuing fight against acts of forgery and counterfeiting that are highly damaging to the late Zao Wou-Ki.

Fondation Zao Wou-Ki
Françoise Marquet-Zao
Chairperson

Example of forged print with fake signatures:

Detail of Zao Wou-Ki’s studio, 2011, Antoine Mercier