A “national treasure-level artist,” according to associate professor Yu Xiao, who sponsored the event, Leng Jun was invited to demonstrate his painting skills live at Texas A&M University in April. Jun presented the progress of his work on a portrait of Bailee Wilson, a visualization student, to audiences at the Wright Gallery on the Texas A&M University campus. The live performance, which lasted for almost nine hours, was sponsored by professor Xiao and nonprofit organization Education Advancement Fund International, and hosted by the Texas A&M College of Architecture.
Leng Jun is a prominent painter in China, with multiple art awards and is a famous in his local province. His hyperrealist style of painting with precise brush strokes and colors portrays the subject with photograph-like precision. Jun incorporates both eastern and western traditions into his painting style.
Texas appreciates diverse forms of Chinese art and culture. The state enjoys exhibitions at the Lotus Gallery, and is the home of the Texas Performing Chinese Arts Association. Events such as the Contemporary Chinese art exhibition by Asia Society and Exhibition of Chinese Art at the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston are commonplace for the State. The Asia Society Texas offers the Alumni of Rice University a summer trip to China, led by the President of the University, to explore its arts and cultures.
Texas-China relations go beyond cultural exchange, as the University of Texas’s International Office houses the “China Initiative” to expand and deepen collaboration with leading institutions in China. As former governor Rick Perry put it, China, “a great friend of Texas” has played a pivotal role in spurring growth in Texas. The Asian partner is the top export market and a major investor in the State, as well as 32 other states in the country.
Yumiko Kozu is a research intern at the East-West Center in Washington and an exchange student at Dartmouth College.