The University of Minnesota Falun Dafa Twin Cities Club and the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies of the University of Minnesota, present the Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition, March 28-30, from 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. in the Great Hall of the Coffman Memorial Union, 300 Washington Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55455
The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) International Exhibition is described by participants and organizers as an “extraordinarily moving, intimate and inspiring exhibition detailing both an inner spiritual life and an outer human rights tragedy.”
Realistic oil paintings and Chinese water-colors from mostly Chinese artists give a unique insight into the spiritual discipline Falun Gong. Also called Falun Dafa, it is a form of meditative exercise originating in China, is based on the principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance.
Part of the exhibition is dedicated to showing how the practice of Falun Gong has changed people’s lives, providing them with a return to traditional Chinese values.
On July 20th 1999 Falun Gong was banned in China, and since that date 11 years ago many thousands of practitioners have been tortured in an effort to “transform” them. Part of the exhibition deals with the terrifying ordeals people – including the artists themselves – have gone through.
The featured artists include Xiaoping Chen, Dr Xiqiang Dong, Tingyin Shi, Zhengping Chen, Kathleen Gillis, Yuan Li, Daci Shen, Ruizhen Gu and Dr Kunlun Zhang.
“Our art comes from a pure heart and our work reflects our personal experience,” said Professor Zhang Kunlun, founder of the exhibition and former Director of the Institute of Sculpture at the Institute of Art in Shandong, himself a practitioner of Falun Gong. “Art is able to greatly influence the way people think and it also directly connects with human morality. And the two interact.”
Dr Zhang was detained for three months in a labor camp in China. In 2004, he started to work with other artists who practice Falun Gong to create this exhibition. United by their experiences, the artists use their art to tell their stories, speak out and call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
Since 2004, the exhibition has toured over 200 cities in 40 countries in Europe, the Americas, Asia and Australia. In that time, the exhibition has received numerous proclamations and letters of support from various government offices and other organizations.
The exhibition was made possible by a grant from the Student Activities and Coca-Cola Grant Initiative.