Linden Gallery to Host Chinese Christian Artist and Scholar

He Qi, a leading Chinese Christian artist and scholar, will be at Linden Gallery on Saturday, July 25 from 2 – 5 pm.

Throughout the past three decades of almost miraculous economic development in China, changes affecting the spiritual underpinning of the country have also taken place. Temples, mosques and churches are being restored and are flourishing. The number of Christians in China is increasing dramatically, with many new believers associating the success of the West with its Judeo-Christian traditions.

He Qi remembers a time when even possessing a Bible could land him jail.

“During the Cultural Revolution, I came across a creased copy of Raphael’s Madonna and Child in an old book. I was very moved by the softness of the Virgin’s smile,” He Qi said during his recent stay at the Linden Gallery in Ellison Bay. The Madonna and Child image was clearly forbidden but He spent his evenings copying the picture, risking great punishment.

“By day I painted Mao,” laughs He, “But at midnight I painted the Madonna.”

He Qi states that the incorporation of Chinese tradition into the Biblical scenes does not reflect a rejection of its westerness. The majority of the Chinese Christians view the Gospel as a universal faith, whose lessons may be embedded into the historical traditions of every culture.

He’s paintings attempt to replicate a policy used so effectively by Mao and the communists throughout their struggle for power during the ‘30s and ‘40s – cloak a concept heavily embedded in western culture (in their case, Communism) in a Chinese manner. Unlike Mao, however, He Qi’s message aims to inject much more joy and hope into the eyes of the Chinese.

For more information call 920.854.2487.