Asia

From Mao to Moses

Artist He Qi, born again in China's Cultural Revolution, is painting a new peaceful identity for the Chinese church.

A teenager at the launch of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese artist He Qi (pronounced huh chee) is fast gaining world recognition for his paintings, which are almost exclusively depictions of biblical events.

The witty, reverent paintings are full of the symbolism of Beijing Opera, medieval-style hidden messages, and modernist plays on perspective and time. And He is introducing a new idiom for biblical art, one influenced by, but not part of, the European traditions. His website says, "He hopes to help change the 'foreign image' of Christianity in China by using artistic language, and at the same time, to supplement Chinese art the way Buddhist art did in ancient times."

He's work is gaining more and more attention in the West. He has exhibited in the U.S., the U.K., Switzerland, Germany, Canada, Japan, and Hong Kong, as well as in mainland China. In 2006, Overseas Ministry Study Center collected his work in Look Toward the Heavens, and he is now working on an ambitious project: an illustrated ...

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