The Concordia Seminary community welcomed Chinese Christian artist Dr. He Qi to campus Monday, Feb. 2, in the library art gallery where his painting, “The Burning Bush,” is displayed. Following a morning reception, He donated five books featuring his art to the library, and signed each one.
“He Qi is a true friend of the Seminary,” said Rev. Travis Scholl, managing editor of theological publications at Concordia Seminary. “He is able to weave so many strands into his work—Chinese folk art, medieval stained glass, a little Picasso—but there’s always something there to bring you back to the story of Scripture.”
He’s artwork has been featured in a number of Seminary publications, including a series of 2009 covers of Concordia Journal, as well as Inviting Community and The American Mind Meets the Mind of Christ, two books edited by Seminary professor Dr. Robert Kolb. He was visiting the Seminary on his way from Minneapolis to Los Angeles where he is relocating to serve as visiting scholar and artist-in-residence at Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California.
“It’s a big honor to be here again,” said He. “I am very happy to donate these books to this library as I carry the Seminary’s friendship to California.”
The books donated included an introduction to Asian Christian art, a Mandarin language book on Christian art history, a two-book set featuring his work from exhibits in Hong Kong and at Yale University, and a newly published book of his recent paintings.
In 1992, He Qi (pronounced huh chee) was the first among Mainland Chinese to earn a Ph.D. in religious art following the Cultural Revolution after studying at Nanjing Normal University and Nanjing Art Institute in Nanjing, China, and the Hamburg Art Institute in Hamburg, Germany. He also received an honorary doctorate from Australia Catholic University in Melbourne, Australia, in 2011.
A member of the China Art Association and a former council member of the Asian Christian Art Association, He received the 20th Century Award for Achievement in Recognition of Outstanding Achievements in the Field of Religious Art Theory and Christian Art Creation from the International Biographical Centre in Cambridge, United Kingdom.
He Qi’s work has been displayed in museums, galleries, universities and churches all over the world, and has been printed in many publications, both Christian and secular.