Ai Jin – “A Charity Calligrapher” Coming from the Poor Mountainous Village

On April 15, AI Weiguo, party branch secretary of Tunnel Village of Wangying Township in Yangxin County in Hubei Province, received RMB 100,000 yuan from Ai Jin, the major donor of SSCLF - Yi Cheng Special Fund.


According to AI Weiguo’s introduction, Ai Jin, a village’s successful entrepreneur, and a national famous calligrapher, last year signed the agreement with the village committee to financially aid in building a Hope Primary School in Tunnel Village. The project’s total investment is rmb 1.5 million yuan, of which rmb 800,000 yuan will be donated by SSCLF - Yi Cheng Special Fund for Children. The sum of 100,000 yuan is the first donated investment fund for "Hope Primary School" project.


Ai Jin now aged 37 was born at the Tunnel village at the rear end of Wangying reservoir at the junction of Yangxin and Tongshan Counties. His father passed away when he was very young. He and his grandmother had to do housework and farm work together. At the age of 16, he followed his cousin to go to Wenzhou to do odd jobs in a construction site. Three months later, he worked in a luggage factory. The boss saw him thin and assigned a cleaning work to him. Being diligent and good at thinking, though doing cleaning work, he also paid attention to observing the technical operation of the workers. One day, one machine broke down while mechanicians came home on leave, the boss was so anxious that like an ant on a hot pan. "Let me try!" AI Jin volunteered.  20 minutes later, Ai Jin skillfully had the machine repaired.  Thereafter, he became a mechanician. At the age of 18, he became the director of the factory which was ranked second in the luggage factories in Wenzhou and managed more than 500 workers.


Ai Jin loved calligraphy from a young age. In spring festival, People in rural areas in Southeastern Hubei province have the tradition to paste couplets. On every Chinese new year's eve, when his uncle, a primary school teacher, wrote couplets for families in the village, Ai Jin did chores for him, laying paper, grinding Chinese ink and pasting couplets. Sometimes he also tried to write couplets. When Ai Jin was a fifth grader, his uncle asked him to write a couplet for his own family. Being not afraid of making a fool of himself before others, Ai Jin really wrote up a couplet and posted the couplet on both sides of his family’s door. This is the first time for Ai Jin to have “calligraphy debut" in his life.


When he did odd jobs in a construction site, he took advantage of spare time to write calligraphy; when he was the director of the luggage factory, he diligently wrote calligraphy every night; later moved up to Shanghai and becoming president of "China Fire Protection Group”, He dedicated himself to the study of calligraphy, and became a national youth calligrapher, and vice president of the Central Academy of Painting and Calligraphy.


In September, 2000, Ai Jin went to Shanghai to do marketing business in fire-fighting equipment in a fire-protection company for three years. In the fall of 2003, he and his partners set up a company that produced fire – protection doors in Fengxian District, Shanghai. After 10 years of hard work, he is now the President of “China Fire – Protection Group” with 5 subsidiaries under his jurisdiction.


“My pursuit of the career is calligraphy, my dream of life is to become a calligrapher, I can't become a beggar type of rich man, I want to make my spirit more rich, to devote myself to the society.” This is one passage that Ai Jin wrote in his diary.


With "China Fire – Protection Group” as strong backing, Ai Jin’s footsteps on the road of the art of calligraphy were more fast. He copied famous calligraphy models of Qi Gong, Guo Moruo, Huang Tingjian, and Wang Xizhi and gradually formed his own artistic style. After that, Ai Jin has obtained well known calligraphers Pu Kai’s and Dou Benji’s directions, and followed the master Dou Benji and obtained his essence of calligraphy. In 2008, Ai Jin was appointed an academician, and vice president of the Central Academy of Painting and Calligraphy. In 2012, AI Jin signed an agreement with Beijing Lehua culture, and became a cultural artist.


The horizontal and vertical inscribed boards Ai Jin wrote got the approval of the master. The horizontal inscribed boards of “Great Virtue Brings Happiness” and “Love the World” Ai Jin was invited to write successively for the "Free Lunch" public welfare project were sold in auction at price of tens of thousands of yuan which was donated for the children in impoverished and mountainous areas to have a nutritious lunch. He also inscribed for a global artist Han Geng’s "Wild Cursive" music album, a creative talent singer Hu Yanbin’s "A Man Should be Independent at the Age of Thirty" music album, and love song prince Adu's "The Ninth Falling in Love" music album.


On May 30, 2014, AI Jin's personal calligraphy exhibition national tour was held first at Huangshi city’s library. Huangshi Municipal Party Committee Propaganda Department, Municipal Federation of Literary and Art Circles, and Municipal Calligraphers Association jointly organized the exhibition, and Huangshi Propaganda Department Director Luo Guanghui and other leaders attended the ceremony. His eight pieces of works were sold at price of 730,000 yuan in auction, the fund raised went to the village primary schools at Wangying Township in Yangxin County.



Then, Ai Jin has successively held his personnel calligraphy exhibitions in Shanghai, Hefei, capital of Anhui province and other places. At the exhibition in Hefei, more than 100 artists from Anhui, Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces enjoyed Ai Jin’s calligraphy works at Anhui Province library and had heated discussions. Ai Jin’s art of calligraphy was praised by experts and reported by the major media.


Ai Jin loves his hometown, cares about his hometown’s economic and social development. He actively participated in large charitable activities held by Yangxin County and Wangying Township, and enthusiastically donated money and goods. Responded to the Yangxin county government's call, He tried his best to attract huge investment for his hometown to build some project constructions. Since 2013, he has directly or indirectly introduced 10 projects to Yangxin County’s Xiandao Lake scenic area and economic development zones in the county and township, and its total investment amounted to rmb 260 million yuan.


AI Jin's son, Yi Cheng was born on January 2, 2015. To Ai Jin, the birth of his son likes an angel coming. On April 7, 2016, Ai Jin signed a contract with SSCLF to establish SSCLF - Yi Cheng Special Fund. Because of the particularity of his son’s body, the fund is named after the name of his son. Ai Jin, the project fund’s major donor, invested rmb 1 million yuan as the project’s starting fund.


He intends to invest 1 million yuan a year in the next three years to save the children with the physical deformity in impoverished areas in China. Ai Jin said that all the revenue from his life's calligraphic works will be put into the fund, dedicated to millions of children who need help. He wants to use love to prop up a blue sky for children with disabilities.


“Ai Jin is a pioneering and enterprising entrepreneur and a pursuit of excellence artist, but also a selfless dedication philanthropist." Shanghai entrepreneur Sun Wenen so evaluates of his friend Ai Jin.


Yes, Ai Jin is an outstanding entrepreneurs and well-known calligrapher coming from the poor mountainous village in southeastern Hubei province. He comes from Xiandao Lake to Shanghai Bund, enduring hardship all the way, singing throughout the journey, and his dream of art will certainly be able to achieve.