Chong En Cao Intro Page
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Office/Fax: 0086 20 37625069
Guangzhou, China
Service in Chinese: 0086
02 37625069

Sculptor Cao Chong En and Craig Mattoli

Chong En Cao (Cao Chong En;曹崇恩) Bio

Born in Guangxi Province, in 1933, Cao was a professor of drawing and sculpture at the Guangzhou Academy of Fine Art for many years.  As is the case with many Chinese sculptors of his age, he has done sculptures of historical figures in modern China, but only those whom he thinks were important to China's development, like Sun Yat Sen and Deng Xiao Ping.  Many of his sculptures have been collected by museums, in China as well as other countries, including the Swiss Olympic Museum.  His works tend to have a smoothness to them, as opposed to the rough textures that many, more modern pieces tend to have.

Although his daughter, Cao Fei, is better known in the Western Art Scene, Cao Chong En, himself, is not unknown, in the West.  Indeed, he came to international prominence, in the 1980's, when he entered a cast bronze sculpture of Juan Antonio Samaranch, the president of the International Olympic Committee, in an art exhibition about sports.  Samaranch saw the piece and wanted to purchase it, and it was eventually given to him as a gift from the Chinese government.  That one went to the Olympic Museum in Lauzanne, and Samaranch had another made for himself, in marble (shown, below).  His sculpture celebrating the return of Macau (Au Men) to China won the gold prize in the First Dragon Culture Competition.

He works in stone, clay, and bronze, and he tells us that he likes to do his own work, not relying on a bevy of assistants, like many other sculptors do.  You can still see him working on large stone and bronze sculptures, even at his age (we've seen the pictures and we visit him at his studio from time to time).  He is also a fun guy, like many of the other artists I tend to like, and two of his daughters are also artists (the youngest one is 13, so, she has not yet decided).  All told, he has created more than 2,000 works of sculpture over his lifetime.

Cao is also known for his 2.5-metre, 600 kilogram monument of Bruce Lee, located on the harbor front on Avenue of the Stars, in Hong Kong.  He made an even larger version for Bruce Lee's hometown, Shunde, just south of Guangzhou.  He has also made many Buddhist and Taoist sculptures, including over 100 for a 1,000 year old temple, near Chaozhou, in the east of Guangdong Province.  There is a sculpture garden of his works, in Guangzhou.  He, currently, splits his time between Guangzhou and a residence in Canada.  Below, are shown his sculptures of the Chinese track star, Liu Xiang, Juan Antonio Samaranch, and a series of Sun Yat Sen depicting him over his lifetime. 

Cao is a world-class sculptor, and we are pleased to offer some of his works at Leona Craig Art.  Indeed, he is so busy making larger sculptures for people or places that he usually has no time to make smaller versions, like those that we have, here, on our website.  In fact, he seems to prefer to do individual marble or clay pieces for the small ones, and many of the small clay, marble and even cast bronze pieces are one of a kind.  So, our collection offers a real opportunity to collect sculpture made by this great Chinese sculptor without paying millions.

We also wrote a little note on the Leona Craig Art Blog about a recent visit to his studios in Guangzhou at: Cao Chong En Studio Visit, and you can see more photos of his sculpture on our Cao Chong En Sculpture Facebook Page.
Samaranch bust by Cao Chong En Cao Chong En and his Bruce Lee sculpture runner, sculpture by Cao Chong En Cao Chong En sculpture Sun Yat Sen, sculpture by Cao chong En
Ayu Chen at Cao Chong En's studio Cao Chong En sculpture studio Cao Chong En sculptures
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