A small boy looks through jail bars with blood splattered across his white-and-blue striped shirt. He has a solemn look on his face as he stands grasping the bars. The boy’s mother lays on the floor behind him in a pool of blood constrained by chains around her feet.
Weixing Wang, the artist responsible for the oil painting, “Why?” is one of the many artists featured in the “Zhen Shan Ren International Art Exhibition” displayed at the Ohio Union from Wednesday to Friday.
All of the artists showcased in the exhibition practice Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong — a spiritual and self-cultivation practice — Gary Sung, a first-year in electrical engineering and president of the Falun Dafa Practice Group, said. The student organization, Falun Dafa Practice Group, is presenting the exhibition.
The Falun Dafa Buddhist revival movement started in China at the end of the 20th century and was banned in 1999, Lucia Dunn, adviser of the Falun Dafa Practice Group, said. Brutal and violent persecutions followed thereafter, placing citizens in prison camps when the movement became too large, Dunn said.
“[The exhibition] gives you a sense of the brutality with which these people have been treated,” Dunn said.
Zhang Kunlun, an artist and former prisoner of the Chinese communist regime, gathered artists affected by the persecutions to create work displaying the true stories of people in China, Dunn said.
The purpose of the exhibition is connected to the human rights movement of religious, spiritual and political dissidents in China, Dunn said.
The exhibition comprises multiple images conveying the stories of those who experienced violence in China, Arjene Chen, a past president of Falun Dafa Practice Group and coordinator of the exhibition, said.
“We want to help out the situation in China. They are still suffering the persecution,” Chen said.
After its start in 2004, the exhibition has toured more than 50 countries, according to the exhibition’s website.
Chen said this exhibition displays replicas of some of the original art. A collection of originals is located in New York.
The “Zhen Shan Ren International Art Exhibition” will be displayed at the Ohio Union in the Danny Price Student Lounge as well as in display cases near the Great Hall Meeting Room. The exhibition opened Wednesday and runs through Friday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.