Plainsboro Public Library – January-February 2017

To help bring in the Chinese New Year, the Plainsboro Library Gallery hosts Professor Zuimeng Cao, who presents a beautiful collection of reproductions of his traditional Chinese paintings. Having grown up in the highlands of northeast China, Mr. Cao focuses on the spectacular natural environment he observed for years, depicting landscapes, ice & snow, flora & fauna, and portraits as well. An art reception will be held on Saturday, February 4, 12 – 2 pm, and will be immediately followed by the library’s annual Chinese New Year celebration. The exhibit runs from January 25 through February 23, 2017.

Mr. Cao describes the philosophy behind his art:

“The goal of art is to enlighten the soul…These paintings can offer you a clear, beyond-the-world feeling, and comfort your soul.

“In fact, many of the elements in the painting, including the birds, are just a symbol of beauty. I believe that the works of an artist should borrow from the natural world and endow it with what we call “beauty.” It is a process of displaying one’s thoughts and ambitions through artistic forms. This process, no matter how tough, should be a joyous process performed with a pure heart. ‘To teach and enlighten,’ I hope my paintings can live up to this standard.”

Zuimeng Cao was born in Liao Ning Province, China, in 1966. He graduated from Harbin Normal University with a degree in Chinese Painting and later from Communication University of China with a Master’s Degree in Art Direction. Currently he is an associate professor of painting and TV production in Liao Ning Province Normal University Fine Arts Institute.

Mr. Cao has won many awards from the American World Art Centre, including the Silver “World Peace Reward” in 2002. He has also received awards from Houston University, China National Painting and Calligraphy Exhibition of Teachers, China Artist Association, Shanghai Artist Association, Liaoning Artist Association and other International Art Exhibitions.

The artist has developed three areas of scientific research in the international field of art. One concerns Mr. Cao’s ideological theories about “Ugly Art.” Per a biography in his latest book, Selected Paintings of Zuimeng Cao, “…he is the first person to criticize the ‘ugly creative’ arts which are the opposite of the ‘beauty’ (fine) arts. He also advocates a close correlation between the artist’s appreciation of beauty and the subjective initiative of audiences. In his work, Zuimeng Cao manifests the establishment of noble moral art.” In addition, Mr. Cao has done research revealing principles of creative thinking in modeling art of Eastern and Western artwork; and research into the black and white system of Chinese painting. Currently Mr. Cao is working to establish the Art Ideology Research Institute.

Mr. Cao compiled and published several books such as Modeling Anatomy for art, Television Pre-production Art, Television Post-production Art, Artistic Creation of Documentary and Collected works of Cao Zuimeng, and participated editing Contemporary Painting Art.

The Plainsboro Library is located at 9 Van Doren Street, Plainsboro, NJ. Hours are 10-8:30 Monday – Thursday, and 10-5 Friday – Sunday.  For more information, call 609-275-2897.


Donna Senopoulos
Plainsboro Public Library