Fred Fangyu Wang (1913 – 1997) was a Chinese calligrapher, art collector, and a Professor of Chinese at Yale University and Seton Hall University. He was born in Beijing in 1913, and emigrated to the United States in 1945.


As a collector, Wang was one of the most prominent modern Bada Shanren scholars. Together with his wife, Wang assembled the largest and most important private collection of Bada’s works in the world. In 1998, Wang Fangyu’s family gave a large number of paintings and works of calligraphy by Chinese artist Bada Shanren (1626 – 1705) to the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art.


As a calligrapher, Wang Fangyu found the practice of mastering past traditions constraining. Beyond his conventional education and traditional training lay the seeds of inspiration that spawned his own new and unique form of calligraphy. New, yet not so new: his calligraphy was based on traditional expertise but also “modernized,’ in part to tweak the traditionalists of which he himself was certainly one. In the process, he created an innovative body of work entitled Dancing Ink.


Dancing Ink combined his academic prowess with artistic verve. Based on his perception of the “five principles of nature” (unity, change, balance, force, and motion) and inspired by his scholarship and collection of works by the seventeenth-century painter Bada Shanren, Wang Fangyu unleashed a creative inner energy resulting in his calligraphy.




1936 B. A. Fu Jen Catholic University, Beijing, China  
1946 M. A. Columbia University, New York, USA


Solo Exhibition


2020 Authentic or Forgery: How does a Chinese Connoisseur work?Fangyu Wang’s Research on 
  Bada Shanren, Fu Qiumeng Fine Art, New York, USA
2002 Dancing Ink: The Art of Wang Fang Yu, Duke University Art Museum, Duke University, Durham,North Carolina, USA
2000 Year of the Dragon, solo exhibiition of calligraphy created by Wang Fangyu, depicting multiple forms of the Chinese 
  character Dragon, The Newark Museum, Newark, New Jersey, USA
1999 A Literati Life in the Twentieth Century: Wang Fangyu-Artist, Scholar, Connoisseur, solo exhibition of his works and 
  collection, China Institute, New York, USA
1998 Dragon’s Tales, E & J Frankel Gallery, New York, USA
1997 One-Man Exhibition, Elizabeth Wang Gallery, New York, USA
1994 One-Man Exhibition, Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center, New York, USA
  One-Man Exhibition, National History Museum, Beijing, China
  One-Man Show - ‘Isolated Clouds’, L. J. Wender Gallery, New York, USA
  One-Man Show and shown Dancing Ink video, National Museum of Far Eastern Antiquities, Stockholm, Sweden


Group Exhibition



The Magic of Zen, New York United Nations Header Headquarters, New York, USA

2003 After the Madness: The Life and Art of Bada Shanren, Sackler Museum, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., USA
  In Pursuit of Heavenly Harmony: Paintings and Calligraphy by Bada Shanren from the Estate of Wang Fang Yu and Sum 
  WaiSmithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C., USA
2001 A New Perspective on Contemporary Calligraphy, group exhibition, Taiwan Museum of Art, Taichung, Taiwan, China
1998 Art of Ink in America, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, USA
  Beyond the Form - The Transformation and the Symbolic of Chinese Character in the Arts, Cork Gallery, Lincoln Center, New York, USA
1997 Group Exhibition, Pacific Heritage Museum, San Francisco, California, USA
  Artists over 80, Taipei Gallery, New York, USA
1996 Art of Ink in America, Seton Hall University, South Orange, New Jersey, USA
  Hanshan, Museum fur Ostasiatische Kunst, Kolu, Germany Connecticut College, New London, Connecticut, USA
1995 Chinese Korean Calligraphy, Asian American Arts Center, New York, USA
  20th Anniversary Exhibition of the Chinese Calligraphy Association in America, New York, USA
  The Creative Call to the Divine, Exhibition of International Culture and Art, Seoul, Korea
  Two-Man Show with Arthur Liu, ‘Modern Chinese Calligraphy with Painting’, Gallery 456, New York, USA
  Distinguished Chinese Artists, HLW Gallery, New York, USA
  Third International Calligraphy Exhibition, Mainichi Shodo Association, Tokyo, Japan
  Modern Calligraphy, Zhejiang Art Academy, Hangzhou, China

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