A Visual Faith


Huibing He


A book of my art work and reflections will soon be out from OMSC Publications. It will contain the catalogue below.


The Art Works of Huibing He

An exhibition at Yale University's Institute of Sacred Music

Nov.12, 2007- Feb.22, 2008


Biblical Themes


1. The Prince of Peace   Acrylic on canvas, 2007, 24x30

A Chinese village woman is holding her infant; doves fly about in stormy darkness while lightning flashes; the star shines through it all. We behold the Prince of Peace, in whom there is the power of humility that enables us to love, forgive and to reconcile. That is the message of Christmas. In him was life, and that life was the light of all people. (John 1:4 NRSV)


2. The Light of Life Scroll of Chinese Painting on Rice Paper, 1999, 25x28

The three figures symbolize the experience of a life-transforming process. The one turned away is in darkness, immersed in self-centered pride and closedness. The facing figure is open and turning to seek the meaning of life. The cross suggests the light of Christ. The profiled figure is immersed in light and in peace, having found life's purpose. (John 8:12)


3. God Provides Scroll of Chinese Painting on Rice Paper, 1988, Nanjing

Abraham is holding Isaac on the altar as he prepares to offer up his son in sacrifice. No father in the whole world is willing to sacrifice his beloved son. But Abraham's faith gives him confidence in God's promise. I did not follow the traditional art form that depicted Abraham holding a knife at this moment. I identified instead with Abraham's pain, love and faith. He accepts the destiny of the call and trusts the faithfulness of God. (Genesis 22:1-14)


4. A Precious Gift to Share Chinese Painting on Rice Paper, 1986, 20x28

Mary Magdalene expresses her respect and devotion to Jesus. While others despised this woman for her sin, Jesus did not judge her but rather forgave and accepted her with patience and faith. The faith of Jesus motivates Mary to acknowledge her own condition and determine to change. I always imagine the face and figure of Jesus. However, in this painting, the light shining in the center is the imagery of Jesus for me. It opens a space for each person to reflect their experience of the presence of Jesus as they see the light. (Luke 7:37)


5. The Samaritan Woman Chinese Painting on Rice Paper, 1988, 20x20

I am used to pondering a theme for a long time before I put it into an image, and I like to look at the same biblical story from different perspectives. Each time I may come up with a new insight. In this painting I depicted Jesus and the Samaritan woman conversing at Jacob's well. The Samaritan woman learned that when the time comes, people worship the divine in spirit and truth wherever God is present. (John 4:7-23)


6. When I Look at Your Heavens Chinese Painting on Rice Paper, 1987, 19x20

The wondrous scene of a sky at night has always amazed me ever since I was a little child. The Psalm 8:3 is speaks out my feelings of awe for the beauty and power of the divine. When human beings face nature, no matter whether as a serene, starry blue sky or a raging storm and disaster, the feelings of awe cause us to contemplate the eternal questions that lie in the human heart: Who are we and where are we? We acknowledge our ignorance and humbly turn to respect and search for the divine.


7. Woman At the Well Chinese Painting on Rice Paper, 1988, 21x21

At the well, a Samaritan woman encountered Jesus and had a conversation with him. She underwent a life-transforming experience as she recognized who this Jesus is. Both the well and Jesus's image are symbolic in this painting. The well is indicated with swirling lines and colors that manifest the movement of the living water and eternal life. The person becomes involved in that movement and participates in eternity. (John 4:7-26 )


8. Wash Each Other's Feet Chinese brush and ink on rice paper, 1987, 18x27

The master washed his disciples' feet before the Last Supper, and told his disciples to wash each other's feet to show the love and humility in Christ servant-hood. In this action Jesus commanded his disciples to Love one another as I love you. (John 13:1-35)


9. Righteous By Faith Traditional Chinese Brush and Ink on Rice Paper, 1987, 17x27

A portrait of Martin Luther, the German Reformation leader. One of two paintings, the other of which was presented to the Lutheran Seminary in Germany during a Chinese delegation visit in 1987.


10. Easter Morning Traditional Chinese Painting on rice paper, 1984, 20x33

For a long time Christianity was seen as a Western religion by the Chinese people. Therefore, although people were attracted to it, they were reluctant to identify with it. This is one of my early works as I attempted to adapt traditional Chinese art to the Christian theme. In this way the Chinese people would be able to identify with and learn about the message.


11. The Light of Life Chinese Painting on rice paper, 1985, 20x33

This is also one of my early attempts at a Christian theme. A Chinese mother is holding her baby against a background of both traditional and modern buildings, which symbolize the social context. The text in Chinese calligraphy is from the Gospel John: In him was life and the life is the light of all people. The baby is wrapped in red, which is the sign of the Christ as Prophet Isaiah foretold.



Landscape in Chinese Painting


12. Nature Landscape Waterfall Chinese painting, 1984, 18x14

13. Temple Chinese Painting, 1982, 18x13

14. Yanzi River Chinese Painting, 1982, 18x14

15. Mountain Chinese painting, 1982, 19x14

16. French Parisol Tree In Spring Chinese Painting, 1983, 17x26 Nanjing Seminary Campus

17. Main Teaching Building Chinese Painting, 1987, 18x27 Nanjing Seminary Campus

18. Rocks on Yanzi River #1 Chinese painting, 1983, 16x27

19. Rocks on Yangzi River #2 Chinese Painting, 1983, 16x27

20. Psalm 36:5-6 Chinese Painting, 1988, 14x27 Your Steadfast Love O Lord, Extends to Heavens



Oil Painting


21. My Hometown #1 Oil on paper, 1980, 9x11

22. My Hometown #2 Oil on paper, 1980, 9x11

23. Musician Oil on paper, 1985, 13x14

24. Woman in Blue Oil on paper, 1982, 13x18

25. Taoist Temple Oil on paper, 1988, 9x13

26. Seminary Chapel Oil on paper, 1986, 14x16

27. Seminary in Winter Oil on Paper, 1984, 9x13

28. Suzhou Village Oil on paper, 1987, 9x13

29. Spring in Nanjing Oil on Paper, 1986, 10x14

30. Autumn in Nanjing Oil on paper, 1990, 11x14



Watercolor Painting


31. Flower in Glass Vase Watercolor on paper, 1991

32. Flowers Watercolor on paper, 1985, 20x26

33. Chinese Village - Zhejiang Province watercolor on paper, 1988,

34. Landscape Nanjing Suburb #1 Watercolor on paper, 1990

35. Landscape Nanjing Suburb #2 Watercolor on paper, 1990

36. Qingdao Mountain Waterfall Watercolor on paper, 1986

37. Carnations Watercolor on paper, 1988

38. Tea Time Watercolor on paper, 1985





Paper-cut is a Chinese folk art. People who live in the villages of northern China used to cut the folk mascots and traditional art patterns on colored rice paper and attach them to the windows to decorate the house or enhance a festival. It is one of many special ways to celebrate the Chinese New Year. Christians use this form of folk art to cut patterns of the gospel stories. It serves a similar function to the stained glass window in the Gothic cathedrals of the West. People learn the gospel stories through this visual art. I created this group of paper-cuts in 1989. They are about 6x8 inches in size.


39. Adam and Eve at Creation

40. Nativity Scene

41. Jesus with Mary and Martha

42. Mary Magdalene washes Jesus Feet

43. Peter Denise Jesus Third time

44. Zacchaeus in the Sycamore Tree

45. Jesus Open the Blind

46. The Virgins: Wise and Foolish

47. Day of Pentecost: Coming of the Holy Spirit