artist biography: Chai bukuk, kuku
Chai BuKu, Kuku born 1962 of an artist heritage family in Nanjing, began her artistic training in traditional Chinese art of Calligraphy and Painting at a young age of four. Under the tutelage of her famous artist father Chai ZhiXin who saw great talent in her, blossomed into an artist of her own. This accolade springboard her to overseas exchange trips sponsored by the China Government. It was during such field trips to Europe that she fell in love with “Impressionism”. The art movement characterised by visible brush strokes, open composition, emphasis of light in its changing qualities reflecting the time passing, capturing the moment. This concept became an important influence towards Buku’s art in later years.
Kuku was seeking a breakthrough to fuse Western and Eastern art. In 1990, she moved to Hong Kong to start a new life journey. With its rich East meets West culture, Hong Kong provided a backdrop inspiration to create some of her best works e.g. the “Urban Landscape Series”, “Lotus Series” and “Landscape Series”. She combined oriental ink and western colours, reinvented the methodology of “po mo (潑墨)” in Chinese painting and application of “po cai (潑彩)”, a western way of colouring. As a result, she created one of the golden era of her paintings , Chai called the “Gold and Silver Age”. She is one of the few artists today who is a master in Chinese Calligraphy, Painting as well as Ceramics Painting. The ceramic art she practiced is known as the “National Instrument” of the new era. As a “national gift”, it has been collected by numerous international political figures and important institutions. “Hepan“ was collected by the Myanmar government, and “Hehe Erxian” was collected by the Bank of China.
Today, as a council member of China Artists Association, Kuku is also an instructor of Chinese University of Hong Kong School of Professional and Continuing Education, adjunct professor of Beijing Institute of Technology, visiting professor of Xinjiang Normal University and the first overseas general secretary of the Guo Yun Wen Hua Chinese Painting and Calligraphy Academy affiliated with Overseas Exchange Centre under the ministry of Culture. Being part of the Hong Kong Arts Development Council, she is also a fine art consultant, accreditor and a prolific writer. She used to be the editor in chief of China Daily (Asia Edition) and former senior editor of Ta Kung Pao. She is also known for curating many exhibitions by renowned artists and was commissioned by Hong Kong Arts Development Council. Hong Kong Cyberport has commissioned her for an Art and Wine Exhibition.
Chai held multiple art exhibitions in Beijing’s 798, galleries throughout China and Hong Kong. Her paintings have won many awards and highly sort after by collectors. Many of her works have become permanent collection of Hong Kong Government’s London Office, Motorola Asia Pacific Ltd, Reuters, the new Japanese Oji Paper Group, China International Fund Ltd, China Sonangol International Holding Ltd. Celebrities and politicians e.g. the former Chief Executive Tung Chee Hwa is an avid collector of hers. Her famous work “Hong Kong” now hangs in the hall of the Hong Kong Government House. “ Hong Kong Symphony” exhibited at Terminal One was commissioned by Hong Kong International Airport in 2011. She also represented Hong Kong for an exhibition in Kensington Palace, London and subsequently in Europe. In recent years, Kuku has participated in major auction houses, e.g. Christie’s auction house, Chongyuan international auction houses, Beijing Poly auction, Guangzhou Poly Auction, major auction Changfeng (Hong Kong) auction house etc.
With her dedication to artistic innovation and her spirit of continuous exploration, she has developed a very distinctive style, making her one of the important masters of the modern Chinese ink paintings.