Born in Nanjing, Hsiung Ping-Ming’s ancestors hail from Mile, Yunnan. His father, Hiong King Lai (Dizhi), was a renowned mathematician and served as the founder and chairman of the Department of Mathematics of Southeast University, Nanjing. King Lai and his wife Jiang Juyuan had six children. Ping-Ming was the second child.


Ping-Ming transferred from Dashiqiao Experimental Elementary School, an affiliate of Southeast University, to Chengzhi Elementary School in the Qinghua Garden where he met Yang Zhenning, Zong Pu (Feng Zhongpu) and other children of Qinghua scholars, forging lifelong friendships. In 2000, in memory of his father’s generation of friends at Qinghua Garden, Ping-Ming together with Zong Pu published The Eternal Garden.

Ping-Ming frequently did portraits of people around him. Art elders, such as Qi Baishi, Xu Beihong and Liao Xinxue, gave him the endearing nickname “little esteemed friend”. Assured of his son’s talent, King Lai took Ping-Ming to pay respects to Qi Baishi, upon which the latter gave the painting Amaranth to his young friend.


In July, King Lai went to Zurich, Switzerland to participate in the International Congress of Mathematicians (ICM), then to Paris for two years for academic research. He took Ping-Ming who attended a local elementary school in the 5th arrondissement at rue des Feuillantines.


After King Lai received his doctoral degree, he and Ping-Ming returned to China. The family reunited in Beijing.


Entered the Affiliated High School of Yanjing University in Beijing and frequently went outdoor for life sketching with his elder brother Bingxin.


After the Marco Polo Bridge Incident, Ping-Ming was hospitalized due to a lung infection.

In October, the whole family moved to Kunming.

Ping-Ming entered the Affiliated High School of Yunnan.

Made his first sculpture – a head sculpture of a goddess based on a painting album of ancient Greek sculptures.


Ping-Ming enrolled in the Department of Economics in United Southwest University. Disinterested in this field he transferred to the Department of Philosophy and Education a year later. During his college years, Ping-Ming organized “Gu-feng Painting Society” with artists as Sun Fuxi and Shao Fong, and held charity sale exhibitions at the Kuomintang Yunnan branch.

During this period, King Lai was very occupied with official responsibilities, Ping-Ming’s older brother Bingxin left home for work and Jiang Juyuan fell ill from fatigue. Ping-Ming consequently assumed the responsibility of taking care of his younger siblings.


Ping-Ming was drafted into the army and was assigned to a southern Yunnan battlefield as a translator officer for 20 months. In the evenings, he read Liang Zongdai’s translation of Rilke’s August Rodin, which fostered his interest in Rodin. Life in the army and the experiences during WWII had quite an impact on Ping-Ming’s creative progress. In the 1970s he created a series of works on paper that reflected the darkness and horrors of war.


After the war, Ping-Ming received Bachelor diploma. With only three places available for the Ministry of Education’s government-sponsored study abroad program in philosophy, Ping-Ming was accepted as one. In addition, he was accepted as a self-paying student of drawing. But he gave up this option.


During the first year in Paris, Ping-Ming enrolled in the program of Aesthetics at the University of Paris under professor Étienne Souriau and met other Chinese students studying in France, such as Wang Daoqian and Wu Guanzhong.

Throughout his study in Paris (1947–51), Ping-Ming immersed himself in reading and researching Rodin. Thirty years later, he organized his diaries written during that time and published About Rodin – Selections from My Diary.


In January, Ping-Ming visited Marcel Gimond’s studio and decided to quit the department of Aesthetics and switched to studying sculpture instead in April. He started studying sculpture under Professor Georges Saupique in May, as well as learning to sketch from nature at Académie de la Grande Chaumière. In October, he entered Gimond’s class at Académie Julian.


Debates ensued amongst the overseas Chinese students in Paris as to whether or not they should return to home after the establishment of People’s Republic of China, which Ping-Ming was unsure about. However, he felt he had not learned enough to be able to contribute to his country. So he continued his training at the studio of Ossip Zadkine at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière. Later he returned to Gimond’s studio until November.

During this period, Ping-Ming met a Swiss art student called Britta Gelpke with whom he had a romantic relationship until 1951.

In July, King Lai was sent by The Ministry of Education from Guangzhou to participate in the international conference held by UNESCO in Paris. Thus, King Lai united with Ping-Ming and later stayed in Paris for an extended period.


Instead of returning to China like his friend Wu Guanzhong, Ping-Ming made up his mind to stay in Paris.

He enrolled in the Alfred Auguste Janniot Monument Sculpture Studio for three years to learn how to make large sculptures. His first large sculpture was The Commemoration of the Victims which was made in memory of the victims of the 1945 democratic movements among students in Kumming. Other sculptures of this period include The Escaping Mother, exhibited at Salon d’Automne in 1953 and Father and Son in 1954.


In January, King Lai suffered a cerebral hemorrhage and was hospitalized in France. The haemorrhage resulted in paralysis on his right side. Ping-Ming therefore took care of his King Lai until the latter regained basic living ability.

Ping-Ming met his future wife, Dorothea Pestalozzi, at the Académie de la Grande Chaumière where he was studying with Gimond.

Participated Salon du Printemps.

Participated annually at the Salon d’Automne from 1951 to 1954 and Salon National des Beaux-Arts et des Artistes Français from 1951 to 1953.


Married Dorothea Pestalozzi.


Following King Lai’s stroke, Ping-Ming relied on proceeds from the sale of his artworks, albeit without stability. Lacking inspiration, coupled with the financial pressures of having a family, Ping-Ming became despondent and financially strapped.

Held a solo exhibition at Buchhandlung Bodmer in Zurich from January to February, exhibiting landscape paintings and sculptures.

Eldest son Remi was born. Before the birth of his son, Ping-Ming created a series of sculptures and works in paper with the theme of an expectant mother.

Completed his first soldered-style sculpture, Crane.

Participated Salon de Mai for the first time. In the next year, Pigeon exhibited at Salon de Mai and received positive reviews. Afterwards, he participated five more times with animal sculptures made by soldering iron sticks, iron plates and mechanical parts in 1955, 1956, 1957, 1959 and 1961.


Crying Wolf exhibited at Salon de la Jeune Sculpture in Paris. Subsequently, he participated four more times there in 1955, 1958, 1961 and 1962. In 1962, Striding Buffalo won the Prix Susse in this salon exhibition.

Solo exhibition Ausstellung Hsiung Ping-Ming at Galerie Atelier Theater in Bern, Switzerland from September to October.

At the end of this year, moved to Switzerland with his wife and son.

Museum Morsbroich in Leverkusen, Germany held exhibition Japaner in Paris from November, 1954 to January, 1955. Hsiung Ping-Ming and Zao Wou-ki were invited to represent Chinese artists.


Raven exhibited at Salon de Mai, which brought Ping-Ming his first art agent, Iris Clert. Ping-Ming had two more solo exhibitions at Galerie Iris Clert in 1956 and 1957.

Peintures de Hsiung Ping-Ming held at Galerie de l’Entreact in Lausanne in March.

Participated L’Art Animalier en Chine held at Galerie d’Orsay, Paris.

Woodcut solo exhibition Hsiung Ping-Ming: Chinesische Farbholzschnitte held at Badischer Kunstverein in Karlsruhe, Germany, from September to October.

Second son Paolo was born.


Moved back to Paris with his wife and sons.

Ink painting solo exhibition held at cabinet des estampes of Musée d’Art et d’Histoire in Geneva from September to October.

Participated Salon de la Réalité Nouvelle for the first time. Eighteen years later, recommended by Iris Clert, Ping-Ming participated again with Tiger.

Participated Wohnberatung held at Gewerbemuseum Winterthur, Swiss.


King Lai decided to return to China. However, he was then dealt a severe blow in the waves of political movements. Ping-Ming thereby renamed his residence as “Nian Duan Lou”, indicated that he relinquished any thought of returning to China because what happened to his father.

Solo exhibition Exposition Hsiung Ping-Ming held at Kunstsalon Wolfsberg in Zurich from November, 1957 to January, 1958.

Annually participated Salon Comparaison from 1957 to 1958.


Third son You-An was born.


Participated in Bestiaire along with artists such as Picasso, Laurens and Chadwick at Gallery Daniel Varenne in Paris.

Solo exhibition at Galerie Verena Müller in Bern, Switzland. Ping-Ming had two more solo exhibitions at this gallery in 1961 and 1964, as well as two joint exhibitions respectively with J.Fín in 1961 and with Maly Blumer in 1969.


Started to teach Chinese and Laozi Philosophy at Universität Zürich for two years.


Transferred to Université Paris III in 1962 and taught at l’École Spéciale des Langues Orientales (renamed as Institut National des Langues et Civilisations Orientales [INALCO] from 1971) until his retirement in 1989.

Solo exhibition Hsiung Ping-Ming 15 Eisenplastiken held at Gallery Suzanne Bollag in Zurich from September to October.

His work was selected to the exhibition Antagonismes 2 : L’Objet, held by Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

Participated Exposition Internationale du Petit Bronze in Paris.

Participated a joint exhibition held at Galerie de l'Art Socio-Expérimental in Paris.

Received Howard Fellowship from Brown University, U.S.A.


Exhibition Chinesische Künstler der Gegenwart at Museum Morsbroich from April to June. Participating Chinese artists included Hsiao Chin, Zao Wou-ki, Chu Teh-Chun and Walasse Ting, from April to June.


During the 8th international congress of Union Internationale des Architectes (U.I.A), Le Mur Vivant, a group of artists organized by Ping-Ming’s friend Robert Juvin, exhibited plastic artworks in the garden of Palais de Chaillot in Paris. Ping-Ming contributed to some of the works.

The first group of post-war overseas students from Taiwan started L'Europe magazine in Paris. Ping-Ming was invited to be one of the writers. Using the pen name “Jiang Meng”, he published one translated work and five art and literature critiques in issues 3, 4 and 6–9. Thus began his career as a writer.


Fourth son Alain was born.


Participated L’Exposition Rétrospective du Prix Susse held at Palais Galliera, Paris.


After the reform of the French educational system, l’École Spéciale des Langues Orientales added courses in calligraphy, which included the history of calligraphy, the aesthetics of calligraphy and practice. Ping-Ming taught these courses until his retirement in 1989.


King Lai, oppressed and harassed during the Cultural Revolution, passed away in February. Ping-Ming was devastated by his father’s death.

Published poetry and painting collection Sous la Silhouette.


Attempted writing poetry with very simple Chinese characters. This resulted in the publication of the poetry collection J’enseigne le Chinois (Teaching Chinese).

Participated in Formes Humaines : Cinquième Biennale de Sculpture Contemporaine at the Rodin Museum, Paris, with a 1.5 meters tall sculpture of a woman.

Returned to China to visit his family for the first time in 20 years. Reunited with his mother, younger brothers and sisters and met Yang Zhenning. To avoid the possibility of bringing trouble to his brother Bingxin who was undergoing a political investigation, Ping-Ming did not go to see him in Kunming. Two years later, Bingxin fell ill and passed away, leaving Ping-Ming with a lifelong regret. Ping-Ming, as a result, made arrangements for Bingxin’s second and fourth daughters to study in Paris. In 1991, he arranged for Bingxin’s first and third daughters to travel to France.


Participated in the Beaux Arts des Six in Palaiseau, France. Exhibiting artists included the renowned Japanese artist Tabuchi Yasukazu.


Third son You-An is killed in a car accident.


Participated in The Dragon and the Chrysanthemum: Chinese and Japanese Heritage in the Art at Summit Art Center (renamed as Visual Arts Center of New Jersey from 1985).

Ping-Ming returned to China again. While in Beijing, he made a plaster model of his mother and later brought it back to Paris.

Caught up with his close friend Wu Guangzhong after many years apart. For the very first time, Ping-Ming traveled to the hometown of his father, Xizai in Mile County, Yunnan Province.


Ping-Ming recorded his teaching experiences into articles which were published in serial form in seven issues of the Hong Kong magazine Shu Pu, then compiled them into the book The Theoretical System of Chinese Calligraphy in 1984 by The Commercial Press in Hong Kong, later republished by Lion Publishing Company in Taiwan.


Completed his doctoral dissertation Chang Xu et La Calligraphie Cursive Folle and received his degree from L’Institut des Hautes Études Chinoises (IHEC) of Collège de France, and was subsequently offered a teaching position at INALCO.

Served as the chairman of Département d’Études Chinoises, INALCO. Reelected once, Ping-Ming remained in the position for six years.

Met Lu Bing-an from Beijing.


While proctoring an examination at the end of the semester, Ping-Ming composed 20-30 short poems in French and came up with the idea of organizing an exhibition with these verses, which was the embryonic concept for the 1985 exhibition An Exhibition’s Concept – or Conceptual Exhibition.

Ping-Ming’s wife Dorothea Pestalozzi decided to go back to Switzerland. The couple separated. Ping-Ming started his life with Lu Bing-an, who became his wife 17 years later.

Awarded Chevalier dans l'Ordre des Palmes Académiques for his achievement in teaching.

Exhibition of Chinese Artists in Paris held in June with three generation of Chinese artists participating, including Chan Kin-chung, Chen Yingteh, Peng Wanchi, Tai Hoi Ying, Zao Wou-ki, Chu Teh-Chun and Hsiung Ping-Ming.


Appointed tenured professor by the French Ministry of Education.

In October, accompanied the Director of INALCO on a visit to China, and launched collaborative projects with Beijing University, Beijing Foreign Language College, Nanjing University and Shanghai Foreign Language College. During this visit, reunited with the family and celebrate his mother’s 91st birthday.

During a discussion with fellow calligraphers in Beijing in September, Ping-Ming presented his paper “Chinese Calligraphy is the Core of Chinese Culture’s Core”.

About Rodin – Selections from My Diary was nominated China Time’s Literary Prose Award, for which he traveled to Taiwan the following year to serve as judge and to hold an exhibition.


Invited by Lion Gallery in Taipei, Hsiung Ping-Ming had his first solo exhibition An Exhibition’s Concept – or Conceptual Exhibition at Lion Art Gallery in Taipei, and served on selection committee for the Lion Art Bienalle.

Invited to Beijing to teach weeklong classes “Calligraphy Techniques” in Sep 1985, “Calligraphy Art” in 1988, “Calligraphy Theory” in June 1992 and “Calligraphy for Seniors” in 2002.


Invited to participate in Taipei Fine Art Museum’s A Retrospective of Chinese Contemporary Art from February to March.


Employed by the Department of Art, Chinese University of Hong Kong as visiting professor for three months. Reunited with Yang Zhenning and Yang’s mother in Hong Kong.

Donated Crane to the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Yunnan Chapter, and the Kunming Heavy Machinery Factory (now Yunnan Metallurgy Kunming Heavy Machinery Company).

Solo exhibition The Shaping of Return held in Kunming in September.


Participated in Les Animaux du Bronze, de la Terre, des Pierres et des Bois : Deux Millénaires de Sculpture Animalière organized by The Cultural Center (La Maison de la Culture) of Nevers, France.

In July, recommended by Wang Keping, Ping-Ming was invited by the Seoul Olympic Games Sculpture Park to send his work. Lu Bing-an encouraged him to send Crane, which was chosen for permanent display at the Seoul Olympic Games Sculpture Park.


Ping-Ming’s mother passed away in Kunning.

Retired from l'Institut des Langues et Cultures Orientales in October. He changed residences twice this year and was troubled by a divorce lawsuit.


Worked together with artist Ru Xiaofan on the book Territoires de Pierres : Libre Parcours dans le Jeu de Go.


Completed two statues of his father. Both statues were given to his father’s previous workplaces: one to Institute of Mathematics, Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the other to Yunnan University.

Participated in the compilation of Hiong King Lai Anthology.


Participated in the Biennale de Sculpture Animalière at Rambouillet, France.


In June, participated in the Kaohsiung Fine Arts Museum’s The Beauty of Calligraphy: People and the Art of Writing – An Exhibition of Calligraphy from the Museum Collection.

From July to September, participated in Taipei – Paris: A Compendium of Contemporary Chinese Artists who Travelled to Paris organized by the Gate Gallery in Taipei.

From September to October, participated in the Invitational International Calligraphy Exhibition organized by the General Association of Chinese Culture (GACC) in Taipei.

From October to December, participated in Taipei – Paris : Confrontation entre Huit Artistes by Centre Culturel et d'Information de Taipei à Paris and Taipei Fine Arts Museum.


From June to July, Participated in The Progress of Modern Taiwan Sculpture at the Gate Gallery, Taipei.

In December, held a solo exhibition P.M. Hsiung: The Cutting of Space and the Welding of Time at the Fairmate Art Gallery, Taipei.


Fairmate Art Gallery, Taipei, held Hsiung Ping-Ming Sketches solo exhibition, showing watercolors, cut-outs and other works on paper from the period 1960-80.


Divorced Dorothea Pestalozzi.


Created the stainless steel statue of Lu Xun on commission by the European Alumni Association of Beijing University for the centenary of the school. The statue was displayed in the new university library. Thereafter, Ping-Ming was commissioned by the National Museum of Modern Chinese Literature to make another Lu Xun bust. At the inauguration in 2000, Ping-Ming’s Lu Xun, along with twelve other sculptures were exhibited in the campus grounds.

Attended the centenary celebration ceremony of Beijing University with Lu Bing-an in May.

In November, Ping-Ming attended symposium “Impact of Western Cultural Shock on Chinese Artists” organized by the Central Art Academy.


Married Lu Bing-an in Paris in January.


The exhibition Hsiung Ping-Ming’s Art: An Odyssey Abroad and Back sponsored by Mountain Art Foundation, Kaohsiung, toured for a year from China Museum of Fine Art in Beijing, to Shanghai Museum of Fine Art, Kunming City Museum, National Museum of History in Taipei and Mountain Art Museum in Kaohsiung. This exhibition was jointly hosted by China Central Academy of Fine Arts, National Museum of History and Mountain Art Museum. The works exhibited included sculptures, paintings, drawings, watercolors, prints and calligraphy.


Invited by Li Zhendao and Wu Guanzhong to the Conference on Science and Art at Tsinghua University, Beijing, in May, at which Ping-Ming presented “Talking about the Lines in Painting – A Topic Relating to Science and Art”.

In October, granted the position of honorary professor by Nanjing University.


Made the large scale sculpture Kneeling Cow for Nanjing University in March for the centenary celebration of the school. This monumental sculpture is based on the smaller version made earlier. Yang Zhenning remarked, “In this sculpture Ping-Ming summarized a whole generation of Chinese intellectuals of the 20th century”.

Flew back to France to celebrate his 80th birthday with family, then later went back to Nanjing again to participate in the inauguration of his sculpture at Nanjing University.

On December 14th, Hsiung Ping-Ming suffered from a sudden brain hemorrhage, and passed away at the age of 80.