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Painter of Chinese Origin Elected into French Fine Arts Academy

French painter Zhao Wuji was elected member of the French Academy of Fine Arts on Wednesday, marking the entry of the first member of Chinese origin into France's highest institution of Fine Arts.  

"What do we find in your palette? The joy, the sorrow, the melancholy, the tight relations of colors that you used magnificently with a transparence of your own," said architect Roger Taillibert at the ceremony that received Zhao into the academy.


"In your insolent palette of vibrations, you led us and you made us burst out of ourselves. You made us enjoy with an original force of word," he said.


Born in Beijing in 1921, Zhao Wuji acquired the rudiments of Chinese traditions at the School of Fine Arts of Hangzhou before moving to France in 1948.


In Paris, he mastered the typically Western medium of oil as well as the abstract ambiguities of the Western idiom, but combined the grand tradition of the Chinese arts in his paintings.


The French art critics said Zhao has fused the two traditions to the highest possible level in his personality and art.


(Xinhua News Agency November 27, 2003)

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