On July 19, 2012, the "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition" went to East Grinstead, a small town in the southeast of England, after its successful two-week exhibition in Leeds in the north of England. The arrival of the exhibition made an impact in East Grinstead, a community with a long history. Viewers were moved and encouraged by the message of the exhibition, and a number of people have expressed that they would like to learn more about Falun Gong. Many people expressed their support for Falun Gong in the ongoing efforts to end the persecution.
|"Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition" held in the Greenstede Gallery in the Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre|
The exhibition was well received in the East Grinstead community. Mayor Liz Bennett cut the ribbon for the opening ceremony and viewed the artworks carefully. The home page of the Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre website carried a short and very powerful introduction to the exhibition: "Truthfulness –Compassion –Tolerance are the characteristics of the universe, the cornerstones of human morality, and the foundations of peace and freedom. They transcend time and space, culture, religion and politics. These artists’ works glorify the divine and grapple with questions of good and evil.”
Many visitors expressed their feelings when they signed the visitors' book. Among the notes were such comments as: "Very moving," “Living in Western society, how can we ignore this?” "Very moving and powerful!" ” Shocking, awakening, beautiful and helpful," “It covers the present human society," and "The very real work." Amber, a local resident, wrote: "It’s really touching. My eyes are filled with tears. These art works are a real eye-opener to change my concepts.”
|Gery, a mathematics teacher, and Emma, his wife a medical professional, view the artworks.|
Gery, a Mathematics teacher, and his wife, Emma Butcher, a medical professional, received a flyer about the exhibition and came to the gallery. The couple said that they were moved by the information about Falun Gong conveyed by the exhibition. They felt that the exhibition conveyed a positive energy and was a proactive way of letting the public know the truth, which they believe many more people should know. Gery said that though he had heard of Falun Gong, he had never known that Falun Gong practitioners were so cruelly persecuted in China. He said, "I know that China’s human rights record is poor. But the information conveyed by this exhibition has shocked me. I cannot imagine that in such a country with such impressive economic development, people are treated like animals."
Emma thought that the artworks were realistic portrayals of character, very moving and thought-provoking. She said, "It is very helpful to have more people know about the persecution of Falun Gong by viewing the exhibition, as we really did not know that such tortures and persecution still exist after the 1989 massacre [on Tienanmen Square]. This [persecution] is so brutal that the CCP must stop, and focus on human rights and respect for beliefs. "
|Together with her two children, Sarah seems to be totally immersed in the paintings.|
Sarah Bull, who does administrative work for an organization, is an art lover and art student. She came to the exhibition with her two young children. Pushing a stroller, she was completely immersed in the paintings. She said that she was very fond of this exhibition and that she learned a lot from the artworks. She was grateful that it was shown. Sarah said, "They [the paintings] are very moving and have a strong energy. It's very informative and shocking. This helps us know about the tragedy of the Chinese people being persecuted. The artists who produced such beautiful artworks are so skilled. The paintings are so beautiful and incredible that some of them look like photos."
Sarah's eldest daughter Elizabeth, also viewed the paintings attentively and said that she was very moved by what she saw.
|A group of retired ladies came to the Art Exhibition and all signed the petition to show their support for Falun Gong in their ongoing efforts against the persecution.|
On a table of the gallery, the exhibition organizer placed a petition form calling for an end to the persecution. Many who came to see the paintings readily signed the petition to show their support.
|Ms. Biggs signs the petition supporting Falun Gong against the persecution.|
Ms. Biggs of East Grinstead used to do secretarial work in London and is now retired. After quietly and carefully viewing every painting, she was excited to express her feeling and signed the petition without hesitation. She said she thought that this exhibition was so great and powerful in helping her learn an important message for the first time. She said that she would tell those whom she knew to also come to see the exhibition. Ms. Biggs praised the paintings, but also praised the Falun Gong practitioners depicted in them. She said, "The artistic level of the paintings is really superb. What is amazing is that we do not know about such a big issue. The Falun Gong practitioners are really courageous to keep their belief. From the paintings, you can feel that their belief is so sacred that they are steadfast and not affected by the persecution."
|Mr. Tony Phipps, a religious man, was deeply shocked by the painting exposing the CCP’s crime of organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners.|
Mr. Tony Phipps, who holds an important position in a local religious organization, directly signed the petition after viewing the exhibition. The paintings let him know that the persecution of Falun Gong is evil and barbaric. Mr. Phipps also said he believed that the truth was a powerful force and the truth expressed in the exhibition was very important. He said, "That’s right. Truth will set you free. What you can do is to show the facts. The persecution is evil and barbaric. Each person with a conscience will condemn the persecution after learning the truth. It is important to have people know the facts. If you spread the information, people can make the decision to influence more people. When enough people know the truth, things will change. Actually, everyone can bring about change and you will then make things change in a good direction."
|Tony Peters, a retired scientist, asked about how to learn Falun Gong immediately after viewing the exhibition.|
Tony Peters, a retired scientist, stayed in the gallery for about an hour, carefully reading the commentary for each picture. He then picked up a leaflet introducing Falun Gong and read it carefully. After that, he immediately asked the staff at the exhibition where he could learn Falun Gong and where to buy the Falun Gong books. He said that the artworks convinced him that Falun Gong is a good practice and he was very interested. He added that the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong practitioners cannot be accepted. He said, "I do not understand why the CCP persecutes Falun Gong and imprisons ordinary people. It is entirely wrong."
The "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition" was held for two weeks in the Greenstead Gallery, Chequer Mead Community Arts Centre, from July19 to August 1, 2012.
East Grinstead is a small town in southeast England, 35 miles from London. The town has a long history and is located on the Greenwich Meridian.
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