Boris Uan-Zo-li was born in Moscow, Russia in 1938. His father was a Jew from a famous town of Odessa who worked as a civil engineer. His mother was half-Kosack and half-Chinese. His grandfather Wang Zo Li came to Russia in 1904. After the communist revolution Zo Li Wang adopted the Russian first name, but decided to keep his Chinese name. When a Russian bureaucrat was recording his name, he made a spelling error, and the last name became Uan-Zo-li. This mistake spawned the whole generation of Uan-Zo-li’s.
Boris graduated from the Moscow Power Institute in 1961. He was employed as an electronics engineer for 30 years and during his career authored 165 patents. In 1969, Boris graduated from the Department of Book Illustrations in Moscow Polygraphic Institute, but continued to work as an engineer. In 1973, he started painting using his original style, later referred by his friends as “Uan-Zo-lism”.
During the Soviet times, Boris participated in four exhibitions. Interestingly enough, during the latest exhibition his paintings were withdrawn from the gallery by the Soviet bureaucracy because they did not fit the communist vision – while his name was still mentioned in the catalogue. After the fall of communism, Boris’s paintings were exhibited in a number of places, including the Central House of the Artists, one of the most prestigious Russian exhibitions. Some of Boris’s paintings are now in Germany, Switzerland, France and the United States. Currently, Boris is not exhibiting his works in Russia because his paintings drastically contrast with the art which is now fashionable there. He believes that the American art market is much more welcoming to his unique style, and he intends to promote his paintings there.
If you want to reach his son, Alex Uan-Zo-li, who lives in US, please call him at 503-545-7001
You can also Boris directly at: 503-336-3748