C.C. Wang (Chi-ch'ien Wang, 1907-2003) was born in Wu County, Jiangsu Province, China in 1907. After studying authentic literati art and connoisseurship with old masters Gu Lingshi and Wu Hufan in Shanghai, he decided to devote himself to art. In 1936 he was asked to be an adviser to the committee organizing the ground-breaking London exhibition of art from the Palace Museum in Beijing. This allowed him to examine all the paintings in the imperial collection, something no private citizen had ever done.
Wang is best known as a painter, calligrapher, and collector of Chinese art. As a collector, his collection of ancient Chinese paintings is consistently listed as one of the greatest of such collections in the world. In 1998, 25 paintings from his collection were given to the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
In painting, Wang is especially known for basing the brushwork of traditional literati landscape painting on chance effects created by pretreating the paper--for example, stamping paper with wooden planks to create a wood grain pattern, or crumpling papers into balls and dipping their projecting angles into ink. The resulting lines, blots, and patterns are then converted into landscapes by adding traditional elements such as trees, houses, or rocks in ink or color. He may also add washes of light color to suggest variations in light patterns or clouds. This is a variation on the "splashed ink" technique. His work draws on both Chinese and Western painterly techniques.(See: Silbergeld, Jerome. Mind Landscapes: the Paintings of C.C. Wang. Seatle: University of Washington Press, c1987.
Wang's renowned works include “Painting and Calligraphy by C.C. Wang," “Collection of Landscape Painting by C.C. Wang," and "Mountains of the Mind: The Landscapes of C.C. Wang." He also co-edited “Seals of Chinese Painters and Collectors."