• He Qi, Losing Paradise, 2004. Ink and gouache on rice paper. 34 x 34 inches The Westminster Collection, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis.

  • Nalini Jayasuriya, Reigning Lord, undated, Dry and Aqueous media on cloth, 24 x 18 inches, Collection of Phyllis and John W. Cook.

  • Nalini Jayasuriya, WHO AM I?, 2003, Mixed media on cloth, 17 1/2 x 11 1/2 inches, Collection of the Artist.

  • Wisnu Sasongko, Close to Salvation, 2004, Oil on canvas, 35 x 27 inches, Collection of the Artist.

  • Nalini Jayasuryia, Not My Will But Thine, 2004, Mixed media on cloth, 23 x 21 1/2 inches, Collection of the Artist.

  • He Qi, Finding Moses, 2004, Ink and gouache on rice paper, 36 x 36 inches, Collection of the Artist.

  • Nalini Jayasuriya, The Three Magi, 2002, Acrylic and pastel on cloth, 24 x 17 1/2 inches, Collection of Phyllis and John W. Cook.

  • Nyoman Darsane, The Angel’s Whisper, 2002, Acrylic on canvas, 32 1/2 x 29 inches, Collection of the Artist.

  • Sawai Chinnawong, The Nativity, 2004, Acrylic on canvas, 32 x 37 inches, Collection of Judy Stebbins.

  • He Qi, Leaving the Tomb, 2001, Ink and gouache on rice paper, 33 x 26 inches, Collection of Pat Leighton.

  • Wisnu Sasongko, Metropoli in Harmony II, 2002, Oil on canvas, 55 x 46 inches, Collection of the Artist.

  • He Qi, Song of Solomon, 2003, Dry and aqueous media on paper, 35 1/2 x 33 1/4 inches, Collection of Phyllis and John W. Cook.

The Christian Story

Five Asian Artists Today

June 08–September 16, 2007

The Christian Story featured the paintings of five contemporary Asian artists: Nalini Jayasuriya (Sri Lanka); Sawai Chinnawong (Thailand); Nyoman Darsane (Bali); He Qi (China); and Wisnu Sasongko (Indonesia). While largely influenced by regional artistic and cultural traditions, their work is also informed by Western artistic traditions due in large part to the fact that many of the artists have been exposed in varying degrees to images from the canon of Judeo-Christian art.

The artists consider their art as expression of their deeply held beliefs, and as a tool for evangelization to their respective countrymen and women. Despite this latter point, they all count their largest audiences and patrons among the Western faithful throughout North America and Europe. The exhibition examined these works as case studies for the development and exportation of Asian Biblical Art to the West and its reception, audience, and patronage, which continues to make this art a viable endeavor. 

The exhibition was accompanied by a full-color catalog published jointly by MOBIA and Giles Ltd, London.  The catalog, to run approximately 200 pages, contained images of works in the show, scholarly essays by curators Patricia C. Pongracz, Ph.D., Director of Curatorial Affairs at MOBIA; Volker Kuster, Professor of Intercultural Theology, Kampen Theological University The Netherlands; and John W. Cook, Professor Emeritus, Yale University; contextualizing the works in the exhibition within the larger framework of contemporary Asian art.

Major support for
The Christian Story: Five Asian Artists Today has been provided by The Henry Luce Foundation with additional funding by the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation.