Meet International Artist He Qi at Linden Gallery

“Finding of Moses” by He Qi.

Linden Gallery is honored to host He Qi, China’s most internationally sought after contemporary Christian artist, at a “Meet the Artist” event on Saturday, Sept. 18. Visitors will have an opportunity to enjoy an exhibit of his work and talk with the artist. At 7 pm, He Qi will give a slide presentation and talk about his art process, style and latest art work.

He Qi’s vibrant, energetic paintings capture biblical scenes in a way that lets the stories tell themselves. The paintings are created using Japanese gouache (tempura) paint in stunning color. Some of the works are also painstakingly embroidered by silk masters into hand-sewn silks of each original painting.

During the Cultural Revolution, He Qi, then a high school student, was sent to the fields to do hard physical labor.

“I wasn’t strong enough to work in the fields,” says He. “In those days every little town with a wall needed a painting to venerate. I thought maybe if I could paint Chairman Mao’s portrait, I would be lucky!”

And lucky he was, since his painting of the Chairman won a painting competition and he was relieved from fieldwork and became an artist. He Qi was taught to paint using magazine pictures of Renaissance works. “By day, I painted Chairman Mao. By night, Raphael’s Madonna!” says He.

“It was a time of great struggle. Everywhere you turned people were rioting in the streets, and condemning everyone else. I looked into the peaceful eyes of the Raphael’s Madonna, and it touched my heart,” said He. This was the beginning of his journey toward the Christian faith and a career in art.

Later, He Qi became the first person from China after the Cultural Revolution to earn a Ph.D. in religious art. In 2001, He Qi first came to Linden’s Gallery in Ellison Bay to participate in a month-long exhibition where his works were warmly received.

Linden Gallery is located at Hwy 42 and Mink River Road in Ellison Bay and is open daily from 10 am – 5 pm. Call 920.854.2487 for more information.