The Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Art Exhibition opened on July 5, 2012 in Leeds. The exhibition was held in the historic Leeds Corn Exchange in the city centre, a popular shopping centre housed within a beautifully restored Victorian building. The Bishop of Ripon and Leeds, the Right Reverend John Packer, was given the honour of cutting the ribbon for the opening of the exhibition.
|The Leeds Corn Exchange, the venue for the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance Art Exhibition|
|The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Rev John Packer cuts the ribbon to open the exhibition|
|John Lllingworth, Leeds City Councillor|
The bishop came early to the exhibition, carefully viewing each picture. The Rt Rev Packer said, "It’s been a great privilege for me to go around this exhibition and see the portrayal of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance, often in the light of the substantial persecution and suffering. What strikes me so much is the way in which Falun Gong, with profound ties with the Buddha School and the Tao School, in some intelligence, can speak to us all those eternal values. As a Christian bishop, I am able to welcome and congratulate the portrayal of these values, in fact, I have also experienced a baptism. The exhibition today, makes me feel that it is so important to concern about and defend for human rights."
A Falun Gong practitioner who had fled to the United Kingdom a few months ago shared her personal experience of how the Chinese Communist Party persecutes Falun Gong practitioners. During the time that she was detained, this practitioner, in her sixties, was tied on a tiger bench for as long as 14 hours and was forced to do slave labour. The correlation between the paintings and reality moved many in attendance.
Leeds City Councillor, Mr. John Lllingworth was full of thought about the content expressed in the exhibition. He said that this was the first time for him to learn about Dafa and the persecution, and added that he wanted to do what he could to help Falun Gong practitioners, as such a heinous persecution cannot be tolerated by humanity.
Nigel Walsh, Curator of Contemporary Art for the Leeds Art Gallery, also came to the exhibition. He remarked, “It is a very kind of intense, moving exhibition. For me is it interesting to see the way the artists express the subject in different styles and from different traditions. I think that can make it very interesting to look at.”
Mr. Walsh mentioned in particular a picture which shows a victim who died as a result of torture. Near his bedside is a crumpled piece of paper dropped on the floor, and in the foreground, a woman sits at the bedside in grief. Mr. Walsh said that this crumpled piece of paper expresses the communication between the living and the dead, giving endless association with deep sadness. Similar devices appear in other great paintings. Mr. Walsh remarked that he did not expect such a portrayal to reflect an actual reality of life.
The Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition will continue in Leeds for 11 days, until July 16. It is estimated that the exhibit will draw thousands of local people to the Corn Exchange to view the paintings.
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