Canada: Falun Gong Art Exhibition Moves Viewers at Simon Fraser University

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Forty paintings by Falun Gong practitioners were exhibited on the campus of Simon Fraser University (SFU). The bright colours and artistic conception of these pictures made the somewhat dull atmosphere of the hallway new and fresh.

Falun Gong practitioners have held similar photo exhibitions and other activities to reveal the facts of the persecution on the SFU campus before. This time, the number of visitors and the positive responses were unparallelled. The artistic presentation of the true stories and experiences of Falun Gong practitioners carried a powerful visual impact. The practitioners' noble character depicted by the artists, the artists' skill, as well as the striking contrast of goodness and brutality manifested in the paintings deeply touched peoples' hearts and aroused a sympathetic chord among the visitors.

Visitors are moved, their comments are touching

In the guestbook, visitors left these kinds of comments:

"Your paintings are very touching. I hope for the day when people in China are allowed to practise their belief."

"These paintings brought me back to the time when Christians were persecuted. They are still suffering the persecution in some other places in the world now."

"These artworks are so moving. When I read and saw about these people being persecuted, I couldn't help shedding tears. These paintings are very inspiring and very touching. Thank you!"

"These paintings truly exhibit the terrible torture and Falun Gong practitioners' powerful inner strength when facing the tremendous tribulation."

"This is to call on all people, no matter what background we are from and what religious belief we follow, if crimes against humanity are happening, we have the responsibility to stand up to oppose this kind of torture and persecution."

"Powerful art that speaks to the spirit."

"I'm shocked."

"Very powerful."

"Great art."

"It's really touching to be able to face life when suffering tribulations."

"I feel really sad seeing that people can torture others this way."

"I can hardly believe that such a thing is taking place. In order to stop this brutal mistreatment, I offer all my sympathy to Falun Gong practitioners. This persecution should be ended. It is too inhuman!"

"Religious persecution has long been used by terrorist governments and all extremist organisations in the world as a governing measure. I hope that human beings' longing for freedom, knowledge and inner peace will eventually end all these tribulations. This is what we have been longing for from ancient times to the present, after all."

Positive responses and deep understanding

A professor from SFU was touched by the exhibition. He invited a Falun Gong practitioner to his class to talk about the art exhibition and the persecution of Falun Gong in China to his 37 graduate students. The practitioner explained to the graduate students that Falun Gong is a true science. More and more scientists have started studying the connection between cultivation practise and physical and mental health. Immunology expert, Dr. Feng Lili, a professor from Baylor Medical College in Houston, Texas and other researchers have discovered through research in molecular biology that practising Falun Gong can help enhance immunity. The students were very interested in the topic.

Several of the practitioners' artworks

Anna, a student from SFU, said that such kinds of torture and genocide have happened before in history. At those times, no one helped to stop it. Now, the same thing is happening again. We should learn the lessons from history and stand up for justice this time. She said that especially, any persecution of belief should be stopped, because we are living on the same earth, and in fact, we are one big family.

A Chinese student who grew up in Canada said, after he viewed the exhibition, that he could understand why these artists created these works, because these will be left to later generations to let them know what is good, what is bad, what is just and what is evil. He believed that it is very important to save these historic witnesses, so that later generations would be aware of the fact that the kind and peaceful Falun Gong practitioners have suffered such vicious persecution in history. He said that he liked very much the painting entitled, "Returning to One's True Self," in which an infant is meditating in a lotus flower. He said that no matter whether in Buddhism, Taoism or other religions in the world, in fact, everyone is essentially a small child and has a pure and innocent side.

While walking through the exhibition, a Westerner explained to his child what Falun Gong is and why Falun Gong is persecuted. He said it is very necessary to allow children to be aware of the human rights violations against Falun Gong in China, because children will be the leaders of tomorrow. They should understand that it is completely wrong to use torture and persecution to coerce people to give up their beliefs. His two children said that they rarely saw reports on TV on this issue. They believed that everyone should enjoy his rights to do what they wish to do. They expressed that it is not right to force a person to renounce his belief.

Daniel, a student majoring in humanities, told this reporter that he is currently taking courses which introduce ancient Chinese Buddhism and Taoism. When he viewed these paintings, he felt very interested in Falun Gong. Through practitioners' explanation, he understood that Falun Gong is also rooted in ancient Chinese culture and that it is a cultivation practise in the Buddha School. He expressed his wish to read the book, Zhuan Falun. He said that this art exhibition effectively depicted Falun Gong practitioners' astonishing inner strength when facing the violence of the persecution. He said that these paintings are very powerful and very touching.

This reporter also noticed that some students from China did not quite understand about the exhibition after viewing it. They asked practitioners whether those tortures were real and whether showing them would bring disgrace upon China. After practitioners' patient explanation, they understood, and were satisfied with the reasons for showing the paintings.

Many visitors said that the energy field in the exhibition area was very strong. Several visitors asked whether they could buy some of these paintings. Some students expressed that the paintings were really beautiful and brought their cameras to take pictures of them.

The exhibition was held in North Academic Quadrangle on SFU campus from March 14 to 18 and will continue touring the greater Vancouver area.

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