Inspiring exhibition

The Art Of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance promises an “extraordinarily moving, intimate and inspiring exhibition” in Chichester.

It will be at The Oxmarket Centre of Arts from until June 4, open 10-4.30pm Monday to Saturday (closed on Sundays)

As show spokeswoman Joy Felix explains, it details both an inner spiritual life and an outer human rights tragedy.

“Realistic oil paintings and Chinese watercolours from mostly Chinese artists give a unique insight into the spiritual discipline Falun Gong,” Joy said.

“Falun Gong, a form of meditative exercise originating in China, is based on the principles of truth, compassion and tolerance. Part of the exhibition is dedicated to showing how the practice of Falun Gong has changed people’s lives, providing them with a return to traditional Chinese values.”

July 20 2011 marks the 12th anniversary of the ban of Falun Gong in China.

“Since that date 12 years ago, many thousands of practitioners have been tortured in an effort to transform them. Part of the exhibition deals with the terrifying ordeals people – including the artists themselves – have gone through.”

Professor Zhang Kunlun, founder of the exhibition and former director of the Institute of Sculpture at the Institute of Art in Shandong, himself a practitioner of Falun Gong, said: “Our art comes from a pure heart and our work reflects our personal experience. Art is able to greatly influence the way people think and it also directly connects with human morality. And the two interact.”

Joy explains: “Dr Zhang was detained for three months in a labour camp in China. In 2004, he started to work with other artists who practise Falun Gong to create this exhibition. United by their experiences, the artists use their art to tell their stories, speak out and call for an end to the persecution of Falun Gong in China.”

Eddie Aitken, promoter of the exhibition in the UK, said: “These paintings express both the inner life of a Falun Gong practitioner and the shocking human rights tragedy that is currently unfolding in China. Our exhibition is a rare opportunity to see the art that has moved and inspired so many people around the world.

“The paintings show the steadfast spirit of those who remain compassionate and tolerant under such harsh persecution. The story portrayed is one of beauty, courage, and justice. And the message is one of hope and triumph.”

Entry to the exhibition is free.