Chinese Christian Art and Literature

May 3-5, 2019
Purdue University

Chris White

From May 3-5, 2019, the Center on Religion and Chinese Society welcomed nearly 30 artists and scholars to a conference on Chinese Christian Art and Literature. Professor Rachel Smith from Taylor University gave a keynote speech on The Vocation of Art. The conference also featured remarks from notable Chinese artists, including Ding Fang, dean of the School of Art at Renmin University, Dao Zi, professor of art at Qinghua University, and James Qi He, Artist in Residence at Fuller Theological Seminary, among others.

In addition to visual artists, Chinese Christian literary artists, including poets and novelists, also shared their own personal reflections on Chinese Christian art. In addition, scholarly presentations included historical representations of Chinese Christian art, Tibetan thangka-style Christian art, and analysis of contemporary Chinese Christian artists.

In conjunction with this conference, an art exhibition, entitled The Spirit in Fire and Wind: Christian Art in Contemporary China, was held from May 3-12 at the West Lafayette Public Library. This exhibition featured works by ten contemporary Chinese Christian artists. Conference participants attended the opening ceremony for the exhibition, in which some of the artists shared thoughts on their displayed works. The ten-day exhibition witnessed hundreds of visitors, including artists, local residents, and members of the Purdue community.