A vast retrospective of the paintings of Chinese-born French artist, Zao Wou-Ki, will be held in China - at the Shanghai Museum (November 4, 1998 to January 31, 1999) and then at the Fine Arts Gallery in Beijing (March 1 to 31, 1999).
L'Oréal is sponsoring this major exhibition, featuring for the first time in China more than 100 of the artist's paintings, one third of which have been gathered from private Asian collections. The works show how Zao Wou-ki's artistic talent has evolved over the years, from the representational work of his youth to the vast polyptychs of his later life.
Co-produced by the French association for the arts, AFAA (Association Française d'Action Artistique, Ministry of Foreign Affairs) and the Shanghai Museum, the retrospective is an event of considerable importance both for China and the international art world.
For L'Oréal, the life and work of this extraordinary artist are proof that bringing two cultures together can be extremely enriching and creative.
By supporting the exhibition, L'Oréal confirms its intention of participating in the development of cultural relations between France and China.
- One year ago, just before Honk Kong was returned to China, L'Oréal sponsored "From Beijing to Versailles, " a Musée Guimet exhibition covering 300 years of Franco-Chinese relations in the arts;
- Last spring, L'Oréal supported the conference organised by the UNESCO World Heritage Centre in Suzhou, the Chinese city where the Group is currently developing its industrial activities.
In March 1996, following a test period on the Chinese market, L'Oréal set up a joint-venture - Suzhou L'Oréal Beauty Products - with the Suzhou Medical College, one of China's oldest universities.
Today, the Group markets its L'Oréal, Maybelline, Lancôme, Redken and Vichy brands in China. Based in Shanghai, L'Oréal has sales offices in Canton and Beijing and employs 2,000 people. Its first Chinese plant is already in operation in Suzhou, and a second plant, currently under construction, should go into production in early 1999.
World leader on the beauty products market, L'Oréal posts more than 80% of its sales in cosmetics. The Group is also active in the pharmaceuticals sector through its subsidiary Syhthélabo, and in dermatology through Galderma. Present in over 150 countries, L'Oréal offers a wide range of international brands: L'Oréal Paris, Maybelline New York, Lancôme, Helena Rubinstein, and Giorgio Armani, Ralph Lauren and Cacharel perfumes. In 1997, the Group posted sales of FFr 69 billion.
L'Oréal's capacity for innovation in cosmetics and skincare stems from the importance the Group attributes to research; L'Oréal's research department currently employs more than 2,000 people.