Paintings by Chinese artist Zuimeng Cao will be on display at the Plainsboro Public Library in January and February.

To help usher in the Chinese New Year, the Plainsboro Library Gallery will feature a collection of reproductions of traditional Chinese paintings by Zuimeng Cao.

Having grown up in the highlands of northeast China, Cao’s art focuses on the natural environment he observed for years, depicting landscapes, ice and snow, flora and fauna, and portraits as well. The exhibit runs from Wednesday, Jan. 25 to Thursday, Feb. 23.

A reception will be held on Saturday, Feb. 4, from noon to 2 p.m., and will be immediately followed by the library’s annual Chinese New Year celebration.

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.

“Lotus” by Zuimeng Cao.

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.

Cao has developed three areas of scientific research in the international field of art. One concerns his ideological theories about “Ugly Art.”

According to a biography in his latest book, Selected Paintings of Zuimeng Cao, Cao “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, Cao has conducted 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. Cao is currently working to establish the Art Ideology Research Institute.

Cao compiled and published several books including Modeling Anatomy for art, Television Pre-production Art, Television Post-production Art, Artistic Creation of Documentary and Collected works of Cao Zuimeng.

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.