The Art of Zhen Shan Ren

Moscow, Russia: The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition Touches Viewers

( The Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance) International Exhibition was held in the Krasny Kit shopping and recreation center in Mytishchi, Russia, on August 26 and 27, 2023. Over 350 people visited the exhibition during the two days it was up, including many locals from the greater Moscow area. 

The 26 art pieces portrayed many aspects of the practice of Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong), as well as the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. Some of the pieces portrayed the unwavering spirit and steadfast determination of practitioners as they persist in their belief in the face of the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution. Several practitioners volunteered as docents, guiding visitors through the exhibition and explaining the meaning and background of each piece. 

For many attendees, viewing the exhibition was a deeply moving experience that brought them in touch with the issues that are at the core of every human life. Attendees expressed wonder at the magnificence of the human spirit depicted by the artists, as well as awe for the strength of the practitioners who stand up to the CCP regime’s suppression of their faith. 

The entrance to the exhibition from the Krasny Kit shopping and recreation center. 

Visitors view the paintings in the Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition.

Design Student: The Artworks Are Inspirational

Valeria, design student

Valeria, a student studying design, came to see the paintings at the exhibit. As someone who also uses artistic skills in her profession, she found the artists’ work “inspiring” and “spiritual.”

“The artists’ works penetrate to the very depths of the soul and touch its most vital and internal fiber. I want to reflect and explore the theme presented by the Falun Gong spiritual practice,” she said. 

The art on display in the exhibition is all created by artists who practice Falun Dafa, and Valeria said that she could feel their spirituality conveyed through their work. “I liked the fact that positive spiritual images are presented – it inspires one to search for oneself, to search for one’s faith,” she said. 

Regarding the pieces that show the practitioners’ continued faith despite the persecution, Valeria was both impressed by the practitioners’ perseverance and shocked by the brutality of the methods used against the practitioners. “[The persecution] is horrifying and it shouldn’t happen!” she said. 

Uplifting Morality and Maintaining Kindness

Olga and her daughter Marianna

In viewing the exhibit, Olga, a construction worker, and her daughter Marianna heard about Falun Dafa and the persecution by the CCP for the first time. Olga said that they were definitely against the inhuman treatment of Dafa practitioners in China, but also admired that the practitioners maintain a heart of kindness despite adversity. 

“[The practitioners in the paintings] still remain true to their faith and belief,” Olga noted. “They shine despite being tortured, and there is no hatred or judgment in their gaze.”

To Olga, these paintings also inspire her to remain kind in her everyday life, despite whatever challenges may come her way. “The exhibition raises the issues of uplifting morality. I think it is the most important thing in the life of any person, as it concerns the issue of the salvation of the soul.” she said. 

A Moment of Introspection in Today’s Busy World

Several attendees mentioned that in the process of viewing the artwork in the exhibit, they felt a sense of connection and hope that made them think more deeply about their own lives.

Julia, a yoga teacher, said that she “enjoyed looking at the paintings” and familiarizing herself with Falun Dafa. She also said that each painting could transport viewers from the hustle and bustle of daily life into feeling a deep sense of unity. 

“I think most people are in the same state of desolation now, and everyone wants a sense of love and unity,” said Julia. “Every painting in the exhibition touches my feelings and emotions, and my soul responds.” 

This sense of connection was echoed by Yulia, a manicurist who visited the exhibition with her companion Viktor. 

Yulia and Viktor

Yulia said that she felt that the paintings were “colorful and beautiful,” and had a “deep meaning” that really pushed the viewer to contemplate deeply. She also believed these paintings could “awaken humanity in people.” 

For Olga, a manager, the spiritual aspect of these paintings inspired her to think of three specific questions about her own life. “What do I live on Earth for? What do I bring to this world? What is my purpose?” she said. “These questions often get sidetracked by what is experienced in modern life.”

She was pleased that at this exhibition, she could have some room to think about these important questions. 

At the same time, Olga was appalled by the persecution suffered by the practitioners in China, simply for holding onto their faith. “The extremes to which [the CCP] can go are certainly horrifying, and under no circumstances is there any justification for it!” she said. 

A Testament to the Strength of Faith

In addition to appreciating the quality of the artwork, many visitors to the exhibition were also moved by the steadfast faith exhibited by practitioners in China. Since 1999, practitioners have been subjected to a variety of abuses by the CCP regime for their belief, including police harassment, torture, and even forced organ harvesting—where a practitioner’s organs are forcibly removed from their body and sold for a profit, killing the practitioner in the process. 

Many of the pieces in the exhibition depict this persecution, juxtaposed with the practitioners’ determination to hold onto their belief in goodness. This theme caught the attention of Natalia, a merchandiser.

Merchandiser Natalia (center)

“I was very moved by the paintings and the story of people’s faith,” she said. “It is deeply sad that Falun Gong followers are forbidden from practicing their faith and forced to give it up.”

Natalia believes that persecution cannot motivate people to give up their faith, and that the CCP’s campaign will ultimately fail. “It is a crime to forbid a person to believe. [The CCP] won’t achieve anything by doing so anyway,” she said. “If a person believes in something with all his heart, how can he or she give it up?”

Tatiana, a psychologist, also attested to the power of the practitioners’ faith and the kindness they continue to protect in their hearts. She points out that although several paintings show the practitioners under persecution, “at the same time, their souls are purified.” 

Tatiana, a psychologist

She says that these depictions will help people find confidence in kindness once again, especially with all the chaos happening in the world today. “It is good that in such a difficult world environment, this exhibition inspires kindness and sincerity. It awakens people to something good and gives the world hope,” she said. 

Michael, a construction worker, saw parallels between the story told in the pieces of the exhibition and the stories of many other religious believers in the past, such as Buddhists and Christians. 

Michael (left), a construction worker

And just like with the other believers, Michael expressed that Falun Dafa practitioners are undergoing a test of their faith—and that they will be able to make it through as long as their faith is strong. 

Parting Comments in the Guestbook

Before they left, visitors had the option to leave comments in a guestbook. Several of these comments thanked the practitioners for putting on this exhibition and remarked on the inspiring quality of the art. 

“Thank you for the exhibition!” wrote one visitor. “Wonderful pictures about good, evil and faith, which help us not to forget where we need not to go off course.”

Another visitor shared a similar sentiment: “From the bottom of my heart, I thank the organizers of the exhibition for the beautiful paintings that bring light to people’s souls and make them think about the meaning of life of each person. I got a great pleasure from this contact with the great Chinese culture. Especially how our hectic life lacks Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance!”

Some visitors also said that they would like to keep learning about Falun Dafa as well. 

“Thank you very much for the wonderful and informative exhibition. I learned a new teaching depicted by Falun Dafa – Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance,” wrote another visitor. “Today I got reliable information about this spiritual practice and the desire to take part in the practice.”

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