Tseng Yu-ho

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Seagulls by Tseng Yu-ho, 1965, Honolulu Museum of Art

Tseng Yu-ho (曾佑和; 1924-2017), who is also known as Betty Ecke, was an artist, art historian and educator.


She was born in Peking, China. As the daughter of an admiral,[who?] she had a privileged upbringing. Tseng started painting when she was 11, when she was bedridden for 3 months with pleurisy.[1] When she recovered, she began studying paintingwith the chief Manchu House representative Prince Pu Jin.[2] She graduated from Fujen University in 1942, and then pursued graduate studies in Chinese art history and Chinese literature at Fujen University and Peking University. She married art historian Gustav Ecke in 1945. Tseng started receiving international recognition in 1946, when Michael Sullivan began praising and writing about her work.[3]

The Eckes moved to Honolulu in 1949, where Tseng earned a master's degree from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and was the curator of Asian Art at the Honolulu Academy of Arts from 1950 to 1963.[1]

In 1953, she received a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship to study art collections in the United States. In 1954 the Smithsonian Institution toured her solo exhibition to ten museums.[4] Tseng had a solo exhibition at the Walker Art Center in 1959.In 1972, she received a PhD in Asian art history from New York University Institute of Fine Arts.[5] She taught Chinese Art History at the University of Hawaii at Manoa from the 1970s to 1986.[6]

She died in China on Sept. 16, 2017.[4]

As an artist, Tseng Yu-ho is best known for her collages created by tearing and layering colored handmade papers. She called these artworks "dsui hua paintings". Seagulls from 1965, in the collection of the Honolulu Museum of Art, is an example of this collage technique.[7]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Arnason, H. H. and Tseng Yu-Ho, Tseng Yu-Ho: Exhibition of Paintings in Watercolor-Collage, The Downtown Gallery, New York, 1960
  • Ecke, Tseng Yu-Ho, Chinese Folk Art in American Collections Early 15th Through 20th Centuries, China Institute in America, New York, 1976
  • Ecke, Tseng Yu-Ho Chinese Folk Art II: in American Collections, From Early 15th Century to Early 20th Century, University of Hawaii Press, 1977 ASIN: B00070SJ92
  • Nakano, Toru; Ecke, Tseng Yuho; Cahill, Suzanne, Bronze Mirrors from Ancient China: Donald H. Graham Jr. Collection, Orientations, Hong Kong, 1994 ISBN 9627956015
  • Yuho, Tseng; Link, Howard A., The Art of Tseng Yuho, Honolulu Academy of the Arts, 1989 ISBN 0937426075
  • Yuho, Tseng, A History of Chinese Calligraphy, The Chinese University Press, Hong Kong, 1993, ISBN 9622014267
  • Yuho, Tseng, Dsui Hua: Dsui Paintings, a Retrospective Exhibition, Hanart T Z Gallery, Hong Kong/Taipei, 1992 ASIN: B0023X7EWY
  • Yu-Ho, Tseng, Some Contemporary Elements in Classical Chinese Art, University of Hawaii Press, 1963 ISBN 0870228129


  1. ^ a b Irene., Poon, (2001). Leading the way : Asian American artists of the older generation. Wenham, Mass.: Gordon College. ISBN 0970748701. OCLC 47214799.CS1 maint: extra punctuation (link)
  2. ^ "Tseng Yuho (Betty Ecke) (b. 1925) | Kaikodo Asian Art". www.kaikodo.com. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  3. ^ Smyser, A.A. (May 5, 1998). "Hawaii's two greatest Chinese artists". archives.starbulletin.com. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  4. ^ a b Chock, Sati. "Remembering the multitalented Dr Tseng Yuho | Honolulu Museum of Art Blog". blog.honoluluacademy.org. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  5. ^ Haar, Francis and Neogy, Prithwish, "Artists of Hawaii: Nineteen Painters and Sculptors", University of Hawaii Press, 1974, p. 136
  6. ^ "Professor Tseng Yuho AKA Betty Ecke 1925-2017". www.hawaii.edu. Retrieved 2018-05-15.
  7. ^ Archive, Asia Art. "Dsui Hua - Tseng Yuho". Retrieved 2018-05-15.