21st Century Artists : Those who will Shape 21st Century Art in the World
Buddha with the Breath of Life Golden Buddha
G. Zengli's Exhibition, G. Zengli's list of paintings

There are times that your spirit soars when you encounter the materialization of an old dream. For the space of a night I was instilled with a whirling and loving breath that gave body and soul to my entity. That was a dream one cannot forget, like a memory that goes back to the origins of your being. If you are a writer you try to put the experience in words, and if you are a painter or sculptor you have an infinite number of ways to communicate such a dream. But how can you not be astonished seeing it already expressed in a perfectly original way by someone else?

That was my experience at the Salon d’Automne this year. In an exhibition of over 700 paintings, I stopped to see Gao's ‘Buddha with Breath of Life’ and, without knowing him, found the best painting anyone could have made of my dream. It is a sign of the universality of the spiritual essence of man. Moreover, I was unaware of his prize of the previous year when I met him on November 16th this year, which shows that there is consensus on the quality of his work.

Gao expresses the cosmic essence while it is taking human shape or while it is becoming a human being. His creative energy is inspired by profound spirituality as if his own technique follows the 'loving wind' more by blowing or instilling than by drawing or painting. Solidly rooted in the culture of his Shanghai homeland, he transcends these influences to communicate with the world.

His subjects are drawn from mystical Buddhism, such as the 'Infinite Light', or the ‘Future’ that brings the great peace. The light emanating from each Buddha is expressed not as a reflected light but as one originating from within, not catching the features in order to define matter but remaining pure, glowing from the heart or the hands, unaltered by the shapes, remaining limpid and intense from the source. The Buddha's hands sometimes are like overflowing vases of 'Birth', the first element of life. In his art, the finiteness of observation is already giving way to the infinite realm of imagination going beyond religiosity or culture, embracing the primordial and infinite enlightenment.


Gao Zengli lives and works in Paris. He was awarded the first prize in painting in the Salon d'Automne 2000.

Major exhibitions

1996 Personal exhibition at ‘La Jeune Peinture’ Paris.

1997 Personal exhibition at the Christy-Couderc Gallery, Paris.

1999 Exhibitions at 'Maison des Artistes de Paris'; ‘Art-Présent’ Gallery; ‘Maison Consulaire’ of Saint-Leu-La-Forêt; Gallery Lee; and during the '100 Galeries font l'Evénement' event at Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Paris.

2000 He was admitted to the 'Société Nationale des Beaux-Arts' in Paris; he obtained first prize at the 'Salon d'Art Contemporain 2000'; exhibitions at Salon 2000 of the ‘Carrousel du Louvre’; personal exhibitions at ‘Salon Futur’ at the Grand Arch of the Défense; participation in the Salon d'Automne (where he won first prize); and exhibition at the Arcane Gallery, Paris.

2001 Exhibitions at the ‘Espace Condorcet’ in Viry-Chatillon; Arcane Gallery, Paris; 'Institut de France, Académie des Beaux-Arts de Paris; Fondation de France - Galerie de La Fondation Taylor; 'ARTENIM' International Contemporary Art Fair in Nimes; Vendome Gallery, Paris; Arcane Gallery, Paris; and Salon d'Automne 2001.

B. November 2001

Art Lovers' Paris