Philadelphia Falun Dafa Photo Exhibition Opens to Public; Over a Thousand People Learn the Truth (Photos)
(Clearwisdom.net) At 1:00 p.m. on June 7, 2002, a one-week "Journey of Falun Dafa" photo exhibition opened to the public at Horton Gallery near the world- famous Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA. The exhibition displayed more than 50 large chromo photographs, recording the wide spread of Falun Gong within ten years in China and around the world, and the peaceful journey of Falun Gong practitioners since 1999 when the brutal persecution was launched by the Jiang regime. Pennsylvania State Senators and Representatives attended the opening ceremony and gave speeches. The mayor of Philadelphia also sent a letter of congratulations. More than a thousand people visited the exhibition, and the local TV station also made a detailed report on it.
1. Opening ceremony
|Pennsylvania State Representative Mark Cohen speaks at the opening ceremony||Denis Lee, assistant to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes, speaks at the opening ceremony||Practitioners demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises|
At the opening ceremony, the representative of practitioners first made a brief introduction of the exhibition and expressed thanks to guests. Then, the practitioners played music composed by Dafa practitioners, Song of Lotus, with flute and cello, and demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises. Specially invited guests made speeches respectively. Pennsylvania State Representative Mr. Mark Cohen said, "The House of Representative has passed a resolution recently to support Falun Gong. I support your right to practice that you are supposed to have. I support human rights. Apparently many people are practicing Falun Gong. The Chinese government shouldn't have feared the large number of practitioners. We don't fear it in the US. I hope the Chinese government will permit free practice. Why do they so fear of Falun Gong? It seems that any gathering of any people for any purposes, would make them worried that you might overthrow the government. Anyway, I'm happy to support your right to practice Falun Dafa. You can go anywhere you want to gather. I hope the Chinese government can soon stop this brutal suppression that is strongly opposed by the US government and organizations. The State of Pennsylvania is the first state that represented freedom and liberty in the US. We will continue safeguarding the human rights."
Among the guests attending the opening ceremony were the executive assistant to Philadelphia Councilman Frank Rizzo, assistant to Pennsylvania State Senator Vincent Hughes, and Pennsylvania State Representative Curtis Thomas's public relation assistant.
The mayor of Philadelphia, John F. Street, sent a letter of congratulations. He said in the letter, "Through this exhibition, we have undoubtedly seen the endeavors that many people in different countries have made to safeguard the most precious freedom in the US. You should be awarded for this special exhibition. I, hereby, hope the people of Philadelphia can also see it and gain a better understanding of Falun Dafa."
KYW Radio Broadcasting Station, which has the largest audience in Philadelphia, interviewed Falun Gong practitioners the day before and broadcast the news of this Falun Gong exhibition. It claimed, "This exhibition records the journey of a group that is suffering the most severe persecution in China."
2. Over a thousand people visit the exhibition
|Practitioners introduce displayed pictures to visitors||Videos introduce Falun Dafa at the entrance of the gallery|
The City of Philadelphia has a custom that has lasted for more than 20 years; that is, on the first Friday evening of each month, more than 20 galleries (including Horton Gallery) in the old town would be freely opened to the public. Each time, thousands of art lovers come to appreciate the art exhibitions from surrounding cities. This is also the reason why the practitioners chose this place to hold the photo exhibition.
Just after 6:00p.m., many people walked out on the streets. Some practitioners had a good idea: continuously play the video demonstrating the Falun Gong exercises, with the colorful poster introducing the exhibition beside it. As a result, many passers-by stopped at the gallery to watch the practitioners' elegant and gentle movements. Some of them asked where they could get the tape. Until 10:30 p.m., many people came to visit. Several practitioners were busy introducing the exhibited pictures to the audience, and answering their questions. According to the owner of the gallery, 1,800 people visited the gallery that night. Many felt sorry and outraged after learning that such a gentle and elegant cultivation practice is suffering brutal persecution. Someone initiatively suggested offering a guest book, so that they could leave their phone numbers and receive more updates; some people inquired how they could help stop this inhumane persecution on their own initiative; many people wanted to learn to practice Falun Gong. The following are some episodes that occurred during the exhibition:
- "This is what I have always been looking for!"
- "This is miraculous!"
- "They [Jiang's regime] are too cruel!"
- "Please let me know about the next exhibition."
- "I am very concerned about such an abuse of psychological treatment!" (A psychiatrist)
An American young man at Friday's exhibition listened carefully to a practitioner's introduction to the pictures, then he suddenly asked, "Could you tell me how it has affected you personally? Has it changed you in any way?" The practitioner told him how her cultivation in Falun Gong has improved her health and how it taught her to look for her own shortcomings but tolerate others when facing conflicts and problems. When the young man heard her personal stories about how Falun Dafa taught her to cultivate her heart and apply Compassion to people and things when they evolved in conflicts and problems in her life, he was very excited, "This is what I have always been looking for!" He found out details about how to get started in Falun Gong, and wanted to get a book right away. He spent quite a few hours at the exhibition that day.
Among all the pictures, there is one of an egg with a handle. Many people were very curious about this picture. After they heard the story about this egg, they said, "This is miraculous!" (For details, see the True Stories section in Chapter 3 of "The Returning Journey", http://minghui.org/mh/articles/2002/5/30/30883.html).
The exhibition showed some pictures of Jiang's regime burning Falun Gong books, of policemen beating peaceful Falun Gong protestors at Tiananmen Square and of persecuted practitioners. People found it hard to understand and could not help shaking their heads when they saw the pictures of book burning. A Caucasian woman in her 50s was shocked to see Zhao Xin's photos and hear about her death from police persecution. She sadly covered her face and said, "They are too cruel! Oh, this is terrible!"
Most patrons of the Gallery are very interested in art. Practitioners showed patrons the paintings of Zhang Cuiying and her art, and told them Dafa practitioners' experience of being illegally detained and persecuted for peaceful appealing in Beijing. The patrons were fascinated with the artwork by Dafa practitioners, especially the paintings by Zhang Cuiying. They said admiringly, "Beautiful!" When they heard that Zhang Cuiying would bring her art exhibit to Philadelphia, they requested to be informed about the next exhibition so they could come.
A psychiatrist living in a Philadelphia suburb, wrote down her contact information in the signature book after viewing the photos, hoping to get more information. When asked what she thought about the exhibition, she looked very disturbed, "I am so shocked! So many people participated in this beautiful and pure cultivation, but the cruel persecution is absolutely astonishing! I am a psychiatrist. I was at the American Psychiatric Association's Annual Conference in Philadelphia last month. Some people distributed flyers in front of the conference building about how the Chinese government is persecuting Falun Gong practitioners with psychological treatments. I read the flyer and also visited the Falun Gong website. I am very concerned about such an abuse of psychological treatment by [Jiang's regime]!"
Her words confirmed to me that every truth-clarification activity pays off. As more and more people learn about the truth, the evil persecution will be more exposed and condemned. She continued, "I traveled to China in 1981, and know something about Taichi. I was attracted by the picture of quietly meditating children when I came in. I really want to learn these exercises."