William Paterson University's Center for Chinese Art Celebrates 10th Anniversary

L to R: Zhiyuan Cong, Zhipeng Ding, President Richard j. Helldobler, President Emeritus Kathleen Waldron, Ping Huang, and Xilong Xu

Visitors enjoy the exhibition during the Center's anniversary celebration

The University’s Center for Chinese Art—the first nonprofit center for Chinese art in the United States that aims to academically promote cultural and artistic exchanges between the two countries—celebrated its 10th anniversary on September 9 with a special program and reception in honor of the exhibition, Lines Crossing: Contemporary Chinese Printmaking, in the University Galleries.

“Since it was launched a decade ago, on this very day in 2009, the Center has firmly established itself as a leader in advancing the study and appreciation of Chinese art in the United States. It remains the only center of its kind housed at an American university,” said President Richard Helldobler during a ceremony commemorating the anniversary. “The center is fulfilling its founding mission to cultivate a deeper understanding of Chinese art and culture. And it has also played an important role in the University’s broader efforts to promote art as a means of fostering cross-cultural understanding.”

Among the distinguished guests was Ping Huang, consul general, Consulate General of the People’s Republic of China, who paid tribute to the center. “The Center for Chinese Art plays an important role in helping the American people understand the importance of cultural exchange and Chinese culture,” he said. “On behalf of the consulate I want to congratulate the University and the center at this important moment.”

Established on September 9, 2009, the Center for Chinese Art has, over the past decade, offered courses, symposiums, and exhibitions of Chinese art, presented numerous demonstrations and talks by renowned Chinese artists, and provided study abroad programs in China focused on Chinese art and culture. Under the leadership of Zhiyuan Cong, a William Paterson professor of art and its founding director, the Center has gained international recognition in art circles in both the United States and China. 

As part of the anniversary celebration, an exhibition, Lines Crossing: Contemporary Chinese Printmaking, is currently on view in the Court Gallery of the University Galleries on campus. Organized by Cong in collaboration with Kristen Evangelista, director of the University Galleries, the exhibition features works by 20 award-winning Chinese printmakers and masters who are exploring innovative directions in a medium with an age-old legacy in China.

“From the Chinese inventions of papermaking in the Eastern Han Dynasty (AD25-220), movable type printing (AD 960-1127), and engraving and color printing (AD 1368-1644) , through the development of European intaglio in the 15th century and lithography in the 18th century,  to the photographic revolution in the 1930s and today’s rise of digital technology, the history of printmaking is interconnected with the development of art, science, and technology,” says Cong. “This exhibition explores the current status of printmaking in China, its birthplace.”