Art Brokerage: Zao Wou-Ki Chinese-French Artist: b. 1920-2013. Zao Wou-Ki (13 February 1920 – 9 April 2013) was a Chinese-French painter. He was a member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts in Paris. Zao was born in Beijing with family roots in Dantu, Zhenjiang, Jiangsu province. In his childhood he was brought back to his hometown Dantu where he studied calligraphy. From 1935 to 1941, he studied painting at the China Academy of Art in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province. Zao's works, influenced by Paul Klee, are orientated to abstraction. He names them with the date in which he finishes them, and in them, masses of colours appear to materialise a creating world, like a big bang, where light structures the canvas. He worked formats in triptychs and diptychs. While his work was stylistically similar to the Abstract Expressionists whom he met while travelling in New York, he was influenced by Impressionism. Zao Wou-ki stated that he had been influenced by the works of Matisse, Picasso and Cézanne. His meetings with Henri Michaux pushed him to review his Indian ink techniques, always based in Chinese traditional drawings. Zao was a member of the Académie des beaux-arts, and was considered to have been one of the most successful Chinese painters during his lifetime. His auction record of RMB 89,680,000 (US$14,718,771) was set at Sotheby's, Beijing, on 1 December 2013. Former French President Jacques Chirac was offered a painting by Zao Wu Ki by his ministers during their last meeting. By the end of his life Zao had stopped producing new paintings due to health problems. He died on 9 April 2013 at his home in Switzerland.