Wednesday, January 8, 2014

张同禄 Zhang Tonglu and Robert Kuo - Two Innovative Careers in Chinese Cloisonne

In October of 1949, the Chinese civil war ended with the founding of the People's Republic of China.  Many members of the Nationalist party fled to the island of Formosa, now called Taiwan. One such person was a painter, who founded a cloisonne workshop.  His son, Robert Kuo, worked in the factory from his teenage years, learning the art of cloisonne.  In the 1970s Robert moved to Beverly Hills to establish his own atelier.  A lengthier post on Kuo cloisonne is coming up shortly.

Status Kuo by Finn Olaf-Jones

Meanwhile, Zhang Tonglu, also a painter, joined the Beijing Arts and Crafts Factory and also spent many hard years mastering the art of cloisonne.  Recently he was celebrated for his achievements.

Google Images for Zhang Tonglu

The English translation is a bit rocky, but this is an informative and touching interview with Zhang Tonglu.

What struck me was the different path each artist pursued to grandeur in cloisonne - Robert Kuo to modern architectural pieces, Zhang Tonglu to baroque gilded and bejeweled splendor.



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