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T’ang Haywen was born in Xiamen, Fujian Province in 1927. Following the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937 he emigrated to Saigon, Vietnam before moving to Paris in 1947 where he taught himself painting.
T’ang Haywen predominantly worked with ink and watercolor on paper as well as painting. His abstract works feature gracious brushstrokes in vibrant colors that recall the strokes of Chinese calligraphy. A contemporary of Zao Wu-Ki and Chu Teh-Chun, he is now recognized as one of the pioneers of Chinese abstraction.
Since he passed away in 1991, T’ang Haywen has been widely exhibited in important shows include a travelling retrospective in 1996-1997, which visited the Oceanography Museum of Monaco, the Hong Kong Museum of Art, Singapore Museum of Art, Museum of East Asian Art in Germany and the Taipei Fine Arts Museum. In 2002, a solo exhibition of his works was held at the Musée Guimet in Paris.