The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren Brings Eastern Culture and Raises Awareness on UCLA Campus

Leo Timm
By Leo Timm
November 13, 2016Arts and Culture

For a week starting Nov. 8, the Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition was held in UCLA’s Los Angeles branch campus. The 17 oil paintings were shown in Kerkhoff Hall, where they detailed “both an inner spiritual life and an outer human rights tragedy,” per the event’s webpage.

Zhen, Shan, Ren are Chinese words meaning truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance. They are the core principles of Falun Gong, a traditional Chinese spiritual practice. Also known as Falun Dafa, it has suffered persecution in its homeland for 17 years.

“People in America enjoy democratic freedoms and the freedom of belief, but they don’t know about the situation in China,” said Joyce Kuo, a UCLA student and member of the university’s Falun Dafa club.

Work featured in the exhibition is dedicated to showing how the practice of Falun Gong has benefited millions and provided a return to traditional Chinese values, while simultaneously dealing with the harrowing treatment practitioners have been subjected to by the communist regime.

Falun Gong has been banned by the communist regime since July 1999. Adherents who refuse to give up their faith are routinely detained and make up the single biggest group of Chinese imprisoned for their beliefs. It is feared that hundreds of thousands have been murdered in Chinese hospitals as unwilling organ donors.

Said visitor and UCLA student Bianca Marcello: “I think it’s sort of shocking that we don’t hear about that.”

NTD Photo
A piece called “Tragedy in China” featured in the exhibition.

In the 1990s, when Falun Gong could still be practiced freely, estimates showed that as many as 100 million people had taken up the practice, with its slow-moving qigong exercises and its straightforward moral discipline. Its roots in ancient Chinese tradition brought something of a cultural revival in a country ruled for decades by an officially atheist communist party.

Prominent themes in the artwork include serene faith and steadfast determination in the face of physical torture—two traits many Falun Gong practitioners in China have demonstrated throughout many years of persecution.

The Art of Zhen Shan Ren has featured in galleries around the world, including countries as far apart as Sweden, South Korea, Russia, and Australia.

After The Parade
A piece featured in the exhibition called “After the Parade.”

(NTD Television)

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