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Chinese master artist Lei Yixin in St. Paul Sunday

Chinese artist Master Lei Yixin will be in St. Paul Sunday at a closing reception for an exhibit highlighting work by artists from Changsha, China.

He'll be at the College of Visual Arts, 173 N. Western Ave., from 4 to 6 p.m. 

The exhibit — "Harmonious Hunan" in Painting, Calligraphy and Photography — Art from Saint Paul's Sister City Changsha, China — has been on display since July 8, but closes Sunday.

Other artists in the exhibit are He Manzong, Zhu Xunde, Zhang Liping, Hu Liwei and Cao Mingqiu.

Lei got the commission to sculpt the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial in the National Mall of Washington, D.C.

(There was some controversy when Lei was chosen for the MLK job; some thought an African-American artist should do the work. Then in 2008, he was asked to change the sculpture's facial features after complaints that they were too grim and totalitarian. And now global economic problems have delayed the shipment of the 30-foot-tall sculpture from China.)

Lei has a high standing in the Chinese art world, with a special government allowance granted by the State Council. He is a director of the Chinese Sculpture Association, a member of National City Sculpture Association and vice president of Artists Association of Hunan Province. He is also the vice dean of Painting and Calligraphy Academic Institute, dean of the Sculpture Institute of Hunan Province and a well known state-first-class artist.

He also took part in in Public Art St. Paul’s 2006 "Minnesota Rocks: Stone Carving Symposium," and his sculpture, “Meditation,” is currently on display in Phalen Park.

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