François Cheng, a bond between East and West

This year, it is with great privilege that François Cheng sponsors Salon d’Automne. He is a member of the French Academy, well-known for his poems, novels, essays, writings about chinese art, and also for his calligraphies. Salon d’Automne will exhibit some of his calligraphies and artbooks to the public at this event.

François Cheng comes from Jiangxi (South of China) where he was born in 1929. His parents were scholars and he learned calligraphy early when he was only a child. In 1948, after his studies at Nanjing University, he followed his parents to France and decided to live in Paris. There, he chose to begin studies about French language and literature. And that’s how his insatiable passion for French culture began. The noun « bond » seems to be particularly adapted to qualify this man of letters. Actually, he translated some important French authors into chinese and gets inspiration from both cultures. A book, as Empty and Full (Le Vide et le Plein), reveals that François Cheng wants to make us discover concepts in Chinese painting that Western painting doesn’t have, such as the importance of emptiness. French and Chinese cultures seem to be so distant from each other…Nevertheless, thanks to beauty of words (A l’Orient de tout) and of calligraphic gesture (Et le souffle devient signe), François Cheng succeeds in moving our souls…