The International Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Art Exhibition tour in the U.K. kicked off in the town of Rye in East Sussex, England, on the morning of June 2, 2012. The deputy mayor of Rye, Ms. Bernardine Fiddimore, cut the ribbon at the opening ceremony. Ms. Amber Rudd, member of Parliament for Hastings and Rye, was also in attendance.
Within six hours of the opening ceremony, more than 200 visitors had come to view the exhibition. Many of them, including mayors and councillors from the local area, expressed shock over the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China and said that they were deeply moved by the paintings. Viewers frequently used terms such as “touching,” “shocking,” “thought-provoking” and “very strong” to describe the exhibition.
|Deputy Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore announces the opening of the International Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Art Exhibition|
|People visit the International Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Art Exhibition at the Rye Boys Club|
|A viewer notes her impression of the exhibition in the guest book|
Rye is a historic, picturesque town, located close to the English Channel. With a population of about 4,000 people, it is a well-known tourist destination, attracting a large number of international tourists each year.
The art exhibition was on display at the Rye Boys Club until June 10, 2012. In addition to local residents, tourists from France, United States, the Netherlands, Australia, Malaysia, and other countries have also come to view the exhibition.
Mr. Rex Swain, the town crier, projected an air of dignity and tradition when announcing the opening of the exhibition. He welcomed the exhibition to Rye in a loud and authoritative voice. When he read aloud “Truth-Compassion-Forbearance” in Chinese, the pronunciation was so accurate, loud and clear that one could feel the vibration throughout the whole area.
|Mr. Rex Swain, the town crier, welcomes the exhibition to Rye following the town's tradition|
Having seen some of the paintings after the opening ceremony, he came out of the gallery filled with sadness about the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) brutal persecution of Falun Gong. He wrote in the guest book, “I cried loudly,” and left the exhibition with tears in his eyes.
Afterward, Mr. Swain stood on a street in Rye and shouted to the passers-by: “I have just seen one of the world's most powerful art exhibitions. Please go and see it. Do not miss the opportunity!”
Mr. Swain later said: "I cried so badly that I couldn't help but cry again when back home."
Deputy Mayor: “People should come and see the exhibition”
|Deputy Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore (centre) took a group photo with the Falun Gong practitioners after seeing the exhibition|
Deputy Mayor Bernardine Fiddimore officially declared the opening of the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition in Rye. She said: "On the occasion of the opening of the touching exhibition, I want to salute every single person in the world who has the courage to stand up for their faith, human rights and suffering. I firmly believe that Chinese people will walk out of darkness and into what is the really bright world. Suffering means hope for the future.”
After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Ms. Fiddimore took the time to view each of the artworks displayed in the gallery. She wrote in the guest book, “This is an inspiring and touching exhibition.”
Ms. Fiddimore spoke highly of the exhibition in terms of its superior artistic standard. She also put emphasis on its profound educational significance. She said she hoped that everyone in Rye could come and see the exhibition. She also proposed that the exhibition informational flyer be delivered to everyone in town.
Ms. Fiddimore said: "This exhibition is totally different from what I am used to seeing in Rye. The paintings elaborately depict the suffering of humanity. It is by no means an exhibition for the general entertainment, but an educational program."
She added: "I think people should come and see the exhibition, for there are still a lot of people who do not understand what the exhibition wants to convey. It's indispensable to alert people, so that they could understand the human rights issues being staged in China. The art exhibition opened my eyes and is overwhelming. It is high time many people be awakened."
Member of Parliament: “This exhibition provokes thoughts and conveys important information”
|Member of Parliament Amber Rudd is interviewed after viewing the exhibition|
Member of Parliament Amber Rudd came to the exhibition with her family and carefully viewed the paintings.
She said: "This exhibition provokes thoughts and conveys important information. The paintings are a mixture of expression of sadness and hope, which is quite important for the local people in Rye. I always think that art is a good way to express our views, and I am very pleased to see such an exhibition that bears and expresses clear and strong messages. I will introduce more people to come and see this unique exhibition if they want to understand the real situation in China."
Retired Financial Officer: “Such an exhibition allows people to understand a different China”
|Mr. Mike Eve stands in front the painting that deeply moved him|
Mr. Mike Eve, a retired financial officer, used to work in the Rye Town Council. He had learned about Falun Gong and the persecution in China during his visits to London. He once witnessed a peaceful protest by Falun Gong practitioners in front of the Chinese Embassy in London.
Mr. Eve considered was pleased to have the art exhibition in Rye. He wished that all people in the area could come to see it, so as to understand the real situation in China. He said: “CCP is an intolerable regime, which treats its people with tyranny and violence, fearing the freedom of thought that the people are pursuing. Falun Gong people do not want to hurt anyone. They just want the freedom to follow their own faith. There is no doubt that such an exhibition allows people to understand a different China from the one they know about. It’s super to have the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition displayed in Rye!”
Ethnic Chinese Tourist: “It is very sad that the CCP only passes the negative information about Falun Gong”
Mr. Gu from Malaysia attentively listens to the introduction about Falun Gong.
Among those viewing the artwork was ethnic Chinese tourist Mr. Gu. He came to the U.K. for a holiday trip from Malaysia. He had heard of Falun Gong in Malaysia, but never expected to learn the full facts about the practice through the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition in the U.K.
Mr. Gu said: "It is indeed very sad that the CCP only passes the negative information about Falun Gong to other countries. This exhibition makes me realize some [previously] unknown truth, which is a good experience." He conveyed his sympathy to the Falun Gong practitioners suppressed by the CCP.
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