I had heard that many newspapers in China have published untrue stories about me. On the first day of the exhibition, several Chinese people (possibly from the Chinese Consulate) came to the show. When they spotted me on the first floor of the exhibition hall, they panicked, and cried out "Zhang Cuiying!" Wanting to clarify the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong to Chinese delegates attending the "Exhibition of Chinese Books and Culture," I had gone to the book exhibition and invited them to see my paintings. One of the delegates said that the name Caixin (my artist's pen name) sounded familiar to him. In fact, he happened to be the chief editor of Books and Painting, a journal that had published several of my paintings over 10 years ago, for which I had received several awards. Many people have learned the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong in China.
On June 20, the third day of the exhibition, a delegate from Shanghai, China, held a seminar on "Chinese Books and Culture" in the exhibition hall. Representatives from the Chinese Consulate attended the opening ceremony. Facing pressure from the Consulate, the director of the exhibition hall asked us to leave early, before the exhibit closed. We didn't. I painted a picture entitled "Cleaning Out." Many Buddhas, Taos, and gods in the painting are in the gesture of sending forth righteous thoughts [particular posture used for a meditation]. The exhibit remained open until closing time that evening.
On June 22, we resumed the exhibition, continuing to welcome visitors. We did not encounter any more interference. Our exhibition was successfully concluded, as originally scheduled.
(June 23, 2002 / St. Petersburg, Russia)
To see more of Zhang Cuiyings paintings, visit www.zhangcuiying.org
Zhang Cui Ying's exhibition will be held in Central Hall, Oldham Street, Manchester from 22-26 July, 2002, in conjunction with The Spirit of Friendship Festival 2002 Commonwealth Games.
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