An exhibition of contemporary art by world-renowned Chinese artists was opened to the public in the Tower Hall of Edogawa-ku in Tokyo, Japan on December 18th, 2004. The artworks were from the private collection of Australian Falun Gong practitioner Ms. Dai Meiling. Congressmen from Japan's national government, Tokyo senators, officials from the Taiwan Consul in Japan, overseas Chinese in Japan, mainstream Chinese artists, businessmen, and cultural and educational figures were among those attending the opening ceremony. The exhibition also received congratulations sent from various congressmen, Tokyo senators as well as from the Cultural Department of Tokyo.
Ms. Fujisaki Chimoto, an auditor from the Water and Ink Painting Association of Kanagawa Prefecture, said with much excitement, "I feel extremely lucky today to be able to see so many masterpieces by renowned painters. When I first heard of the exhibition, I could not believe it was free. I hesitatingly called a minister from Taiwan who was an expert on painting appreciation, and he told me that the same exhibition had a huge impact in Taiwan and he told me not to miss this opportunity." Ms. Fujisaki Chimoto continued, "From Ms. Dai's story, I came to realize that many artists in China were persecuted during the Cultural Revolution. It is unbelievable that the granddaughter of Qi Baishi is being persecuted in China right now just because she practices Falun Gong. I feel it is simply deplorable."
Ms. Fujisaki Chimoto declared that she would definitely return to bring her students to see the exhibition.
One senior overseas Chinese man, who had been studying traditional Chinese culture for years, came to visit the exhibition for several consecutive days since the start of the exhibition. After he learned that the art collector, Ms. Dai, had also been persecuted by Jiang's regime due to her practice of Falun Gong, he became so indignant that he kept shaking the hands of those Falun Gong practitioners at the scene, and told them that they "should definitely make some kind of wax figures of Jiang and other leading communist officials who are devastating the Chinese people and let people spit on the figures just like the sculpture of the Qin Gui couple who kneel in front of Yue Fei's tomb. (1)."
Ms. Dai Meiling is an Australian citizen who emigrated to Australia from Shanghai. It is due to her family's tradition that she has collected the art pieces. In 1997, Ms. Dai was diagnosed with a disease of the immune system. She had to lie in bed all day long, and no doctor was able to treat her. She was hospitalized three times in one year and she had to rely on an oxygen pump in order to live. It was so hopeless that Ms. Dai's son was already starting to prepare for the funeral. During one stay at the hospital, however, someone introduced Falun Gong to Ms. Dai and she began to read the book Zhuan Falun [the main text of Falun Dafa]. She was extremely surprised that she could stand up after reading only ten pages. Ms. Dai felt so excited by the miraculous power of Falun Gong that she began to practice cultivation at once. Through practicing Falun Gong, Ms. Dai's physical health became better and better, and she also started to realize the true meaning of her life.
In 1999, the Chinese Communist Party, led by Jiang Zemin, launched the crackdown on Falun Gong. Ms. Dai visited China four times. She just wanted to tell people that Falun Gong was innocent; however, she was thrown into jail four times for appealing on behalf of Falun Gong. During her fourth detention, Ms. Dai went on a hunger strike that lasted for 23 days. The detention center officials were afraid of being held responsible should she die, so they eventually released Ms. Dai and sent her back to Australia.
In 2003, Ms. Dai and her son Tony decided to establish the "Chinese Cultural and Arts Association in Australia," and wanted to show the public, at no charge, some of their family art collection so that people could appreciate the pure and true essence of Chinese culture. The first exhibition was held in Sydney, and it immediately had an impact there. Prime Minister Mr. John Howard personally appeared at the exhibition and delivered his congratulations. All the major Chinese news media reported on the exhibition.
The success in Sydney led Ms. Dai to consider an exhibition tour around the world. At that time, it was the 140th anniversary of Qi Baishi's birth. Ms. Dai learned from the Internet that Qi's granddaughter, Ms. Qi Bingshu, a painter herself, was forced into a mental hospital simply for practicing Falun Gong, but the whereabouts of the hospital were unknown. Ms. Dai came up with the idea of showing Qi Baishi's authentic paintings to the public so that she could raise awareness about Qi Bingshu and other Falun Gong practitioners in China who are being persecuted. Invited by some friends from Taiwan, Ms. Dai went to Taiwan as the first stop of the worldwide exhibition tour. Ms. Dai gave 21 exhibitions in 7 months. People from all walks of life enjoyed the beauty of traditional Chinese fine arts, while at the same time they learned more about the persecution of Falun Gong.
Ms. Dai recently finished New York and Boston exhibitions, and is currently in Tokyo to offer the exhibition once again. Some distinguished guests from various organizations or government departments gave speeches at the opening ceremony in Tokyo.
(1) Yue Fei was a 12th century general who was unjustly executed by a treacherous official called Qin Gui. He is a great hero of the Chinese people. People still visit Yue Fei's tomb to pay respect and spit on the kneeling sculptures of Qin Gui and his wife.
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