FROM THE LAST STUDENT OF ZHANG DAQIAN
The owner of this collection James C. Kung was born in 1915 in Shanghai. With an active career in the financial field, he was branch president of the Bank of China in Bangkok, and Tokyo, and vice-president of the New York branch; as well as branch president and manager of Chemical Bank in Taipei, Taiwan. Chinese painting and calligraphy were his greatest passion in life, while his wife, Janet Kung, taught herself to paint. The paintings and calligraphy by Zeng Xi, Wu Peifu, and Qing Daoren were among the traditional works that Mr. Kung collected, studied, and enjoyed.
In a traditional Chinese Pupil Ceremony in a Broadway restaurant in New York city, Mr. Kung was accepted as Zhang Daqian's last student. The couple were frequent dinner guests at the artist's home in Taipei while James Kung was the branch president of Chemical Bank, and it was there that they became part of the inner social circle which remained true until and beyond the death of the venerated artist. The painting collection accompanied the Kungs across the Pacific to Alhambra, California thirteen years ago. James C. Kung passed away on October 23, 2001 in Alhambra.