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May 14, 2011 Arts and Entertainment

North Brunswick Chinese Brush Art Painter Presents Artwork to Woodbridge Township

Hengyi Aixinjueluo presented painting before May 10 council meeting

WOODBRIDGE – Hengyi Aixinjueluo believes art must shared and shown.

That’s why she and her husband, Bin Lu, who both coordinate The American Chinese Culture and Art Center in North Brunswick, presented a Chinese New Year’s Concert and an exhibit of traditional Chinese brush art this year in Woodbridge with the Barron Arts Center.

“Art is created to be seen and music is created to be heard,” she said. “We want to share our culture in art and music with a western audience.”

After the successful February concert and art show to celebrate the Year of Rabbit, Hengyi Aixinjueluo decided to give something to the township of Woodbridge.

So on May 10 at about 6 p.m., before the town council meeting, she presented a large traditional brush art painting called “The Eagle.” The painting uses the traditional Chinese art style to portray a bald eagle, an American symbol, in flight.

“When I came to America, I found it very accepting of all cultures and art of all countries,” Hengyi Aixinjueluo said through a translator to the audience gathered in the council chambers. “I would like to further contribute to the understanding of Chinese art and culture in America.

“Considering it is an eagle, I’m sure all American people will appreciate this animal.”

Accepting the gift of the painting, Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac presented to Hengyi Aixinjueluo a proclamation – the Mayor’s Award for Excellence in the Arts.

The mayor and council “do hereby honor and thank Hengyi Aixinjueluo for her contributions to the world of art and to Woodbridge Township,” the proclamation.

Added the mayor: “It is a pleasure to have such a famous artist in our midst.”

The presentation was the third part of a series of Chinese cultural events that began in February.

“We were proud to sponsor the concert and the art show because they gave us an opportunity to share Chinese culture with the general public,” said Cynthia Knight, director of the Barron Arts Center in Woodbridge. “Now, through the generosity of Hengyi Aixinjueluo, we will have a beautiful example of traditional Chinese brush art on permanent display in Woodbridge town hall. This is a very special donation, and we are very proud to have a hand in making it happen.”

The concert and art show were set for February to honor the Chinese New Year, the most important celebration on the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Rabbit began on Feb. 3.

The free musical performance, “Celebrating The Year of The Rabbit – A Chinese New Year’s Concert,” was held Saturday, Feb. 5, at Woodbridge Middle School. The Jin Qi Lin Art Troupe, of The American Chinese Culture and Art Center, and the Edison Chinese Chorus performed traditional songs from several regions of China. The songs were introduced in English and performed in Chinese. The program book included English lyrics.

A video of the complete concert, recorded by Woodbridge Township is online at

“The concert program was designed so it could by enjoyed by everyone – whether they spoke English, Chinese or both,” said Bin Lu, director of the Jin Qi Lin Art Troupe and the Edison Chinese Chorus. “Music is a universal language, but it helps even more if you can understand what people are singing about. That’s why we explained the songs and have translated the lyrics.”

The free art show, “Celebrating The Year of The Rabbit – A Chinese New Year’s Art Exhibit,” ran from Feb. 11-25, at The Barron Arts Center. The show exhibited classic Chinese brush paintings by Hengyi Aixinjueluo, and her students.

“This style of painting is an important part of our heritage,” said Hengyi Aixinjueluo, who has exhibited her work around the world and taught scores of students in New Jersey since 2002. “The bold brushwork and splashing ink effects are special to this type of art. It gives the paintings majestic momentum and profound meaning. Even the leaves of flowers and trees seem lively.”

As a descendant of the Qing Dynasty, China’s last royal family, Hengyi Aixingjueluo had access to legendary painters and paintings. She had rare opportunities to learn from the best classical painters China had to offer. She has combined the courtly tradition of Chinese brushwork and ink with modern technique and formed her own style.

Her art has been exhibited in shows all over the United States and Asia and she has won many awards for her efforts. Several museums count her works as part of their collections. She also served as a visiting professor in the Fine Arts Department of Rider University in Lawrenceville.

“‘The Eagle’ will be a very special addition to cultural heritage of Woodbridge – another example of our great diversity,” Knight said. “Photos do not do it justice. You just have to see it.”

Photo caption –Woodbridge Mayor John E. McCormac stands with Hengyi Aixinjueluo by her Chinese brush art painting, “The Eagle,” after it was presented to the township of Woodbridge on May 10. She coordinates The American Chinese Culture and Art Center in North Brunswick which, with The Barron Arts Center, presented a Chinese concert and art show to honor the Chinese new year.

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