Sculpture: "Small Cage Torture”

Professor Kunlun Zhang is a Chinese Falun Gong practitioner who was repeatedly incarcerated in Chinese prisons and forced labour camps because of his belief in Falun Gong before he was finally rescued to Canada. His sculpture “The Small Cage Torture” is his testimony of one of the many tortures he witnessed while he was imprisoned in China. While the sculpture is an honest representation of the “Small Cage Torture,” it is also a metaphor of the Chinese Falun Gong practitioners’ loss of freedom. By sculpturing a Falun Gong practitioner locked in a small cage, unable to stand up tall as a human being, Professor Zhang conveyed a message that Falun Gong practitioners in China are deprived of their most basic freedoms and rights, the freedoms of personal belief, speech, assembly and travel. They are also deprived of their jobs, housing, and even their lives.

Many Falun Gong practitioners who have spent time in prisons and forced labour camps have suffered from the “Small Cage Torture” or many of its variations. They are forced to sit absolutely still and quiet on small stools with their knees together and both hands folded flat on their knees from morning to night. Within hours, they would start suffering from severe back pain and losing the feeling of their legs and feet. Within days, their buttocks would start bleeding and festering. The festering flesh on their buttocks would get stuck to their pants and get torn each time they try to remove their pants. That is only one of the hundreds of different torture methods that the Chinese regime has used on Falun Gong practitioners.

Even Falun Gong practitioners who are not physically locked in prisons or forced labour camps do not have freedom of spiritual belief, speech, assembly or travel. They are constantly under police watch and are under house arrest for all practical purposes. Their phones are tapped. They are watched wherever they go. Their Internet access is blocked. They are liable to be abducted, beaten and thrown into prison anytime by the Chinese police. For the Falun Gong practitioners in China, China is virtually a giant cage where they have no room to stretch their arms or legs like the man in the sculpture.

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