The inspiring and moving paintings from the Uncompromising Courage Art Exhibition were displayed in Westminster, London on 20th July 2009. The doors opened to the public at 11am.
Many members of the public had the chance to be guided around the beautiful exhibition, which narrated the often untold story of the traditional Chinese self-improvement practice, Falun Gong.
Round the corner in Parliament Square, Falun Gong practitioners held a peaceful demonstration to call for an end to the persecution, which has sadly been going on for 10 years. Many passers-by received the flyer for the art exhibition there and made their way to the venue to view the paintings.
The first three paintings portrayed the universal values of the practice: Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, and the positive life changes that the artists have experienced through practising Falun Gong. Viewers of the exhibition were impressed by the tranquil paintings of the practitioners in meditation.
The next selection of paintings brought to life the personal accounts of those who have endured the cruel persecution, instigated by the Chinese communist regime. Some of the artists themselves have endured psychological and physical torture. One lady took a particular liking to the painting Red Wall by Professor Kunlun Zhang. She said: “It is really awful, the torture that is happening in this painting… but I really like it because it has a sense of hope, even though the persecution is so bad there is still a sense of hope”
Viewers were then drawn to see some beautiful traditional Chinese style paintings that depicted the brave acts of those speaking up about the facts of the persecution in mainland China, and the non-violent resistance. Along the way there were tables scattered with paper lotus flowers which were free for visitors to take, as a sign of peace and purity.
The final section portrayed the principle of karmic retribution and justice. Many looked closely at the paintings, admiring the technique which is strongly influenced by the Italian renaissance. The style of these realist oil paintings could be called “new renaissance”.
Before leaving the room, the painting “Uncompromising Courage” showed the true story of a reporter, Liu Chengjun, who was imprisoned in mainland China for reporting about the persecution against Falun Gong on Chinese television. It shows a contrast between the darkness of the labour camp and his feeling of hope and strong faith, which he maintained up until his last moments.
Many of those who saw the paintings signed a petition to help stop the persecution of Falun Gong, and some also wrote their comment in the visitor’s book:
- Very beautiful paintings, inspiring spiritually
- The truth behind the artwork is almost too shocking to believe, it is crucial that we speak out about such injustice
- Fascinating and very sad.
- Very emotional – totally shocked to hear about the persecution
Viewers included a reporter from the BBC and a freelance writer, who after having learnt about the persecution, wanted to help raise awareness through personal contacts and their own media.
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