(Clearwisdom.net) Practitioners from Victoria, British Columbia, Canada hosted the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibit on March 5-7, 2005. The exhibit was held at two separate locations, first at Oak Bay Public Library, and then at the University of Victoria. There were five sections in the painting exhibition, The Buddha Light Illuminates All Things in Heaven and Earth, Assimilation to Dafa and Returning to Our True Selves, Life Witness and Righteous Belief Forever, Spreading the Truth and Calling for Justice, and Retribution and Justice. The public was invited to view the paintings, that depicted the beauty of Falun Gong cultivation practice, as well as numerous works that represented the horror of the persecution in China.

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Opening ceremony of the paintings exhibition
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Viewers are shocked at the persecution depicted in the paintings

The practitioners made a lot of preparation prior to holding the exhibition, from looking for the exhibition venue, mailing invitations, distributing flyers, and finally writing an experience report at the end. Everyone cooperated well together. Six local English-language newspapers published articles about the painting exhibition.

At the first day of the exhibition, the assistant of Member of Parliament Keith Martin viewed the paintings. On March 6, CHTV and University of Victoria Broadcasting Station CFUV interviewed two practitioners, a Western and a Chinese practitioner. The Western practitioner introduced the painting exhibition, while the Chinese practitioner narrated her family's tragedy in the face persecution in China. Practitioners also conducted a Falun Gong exercise demonstration.

During the opening ceremony, a renowned local artist and art professor, Bill Porteous, spoke describing the artwork as compelling and overwhelming, and in a very classical style. He said, "These artists are reaching across the water, so to speak, to do what they can [to expose and end the persecution]." He spoke of the ease with which the audience could be "seduced by the beauty of the images" but said that it was important not to get lost in the beauty of the technique, as "the message [of the persecution] is not too beautiful, it's rather demonic, and rather dehumanizing." Mr. Porteous was humbled by the exhibit and its portrayal of the persecution, and felt it would encourage people to ask themselves, "What can I do in terms of making a decision either to support this kind of action or to do something about it."

Chinese practitioner, Zhang Tianxiao from Vancouver, Canada spoke to the public about how her family members in China have been affected by the persecution. In November 2000, police took her brother-in-law away from home, sentenced him to three years in a forced labor camp, and tortured him to death just three months later after he refused to give up his belief in Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance. He was 28 years old. Following that, three years ago, his wife, the speaker's sister, Zhang Yuhe, was abducted by the police and the family still does not know where she is. Local police and 610 Office personnel refused to inform Ms. Zhang's family about her whereabouts. Their daughter thus became an orphan. Tianxiao's mother died as a result of Yuhe's abduction.

Listening to Tianxiao family's tragedy, some viewers had tears in their eyes. In the exhibition, there were paintings depicting Western practitioners appealing in Beijing and Chinese practitioners being force-fed. Practitioner Huang Liman told viewers that her brother was arrested when he went to the appeal office to legally appeal, and was unlawfully imprisoned for four years and force-fed many times in a labor camp in China. They are all direct or indirect witnesses of this persecution.

Practitioners also set up a table at the entrance and displayed truth-clarification literature and VCDs in both Chinese and English. In the exhibition, there were also photos introducing Falun Gong and information about practitioners who were persecuted. Many people stopped to view these materials first and then entered the exhibit area to view the paintings.

Many people were deeply moved when they saw the artwork, and several people's eyes welled up with tears. Some said they didn't know much about Falun Gong before, that they had heard a bit about it but didn't really know what was going on' but now they really understood. Many stopped at each picture for a long time carefully studying it, reading each commentary. Some were overcome with sadness and appalled with what was happening in China and wanted to know what they could do to help. Some people stayed for a long time talking to different practitioners; they were very interested in learning more. Some came back the next day with their family and friends. One elderly lady was explaining the pictures to her friend, telling her everything she had learned the day before. At one point near the beginning of the first day, as practitioners were doing the exercises and Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts, the sun shone through the window and lit up one of the paintings near the entrance, causing it to glow with a beautiful radiance.

One day towards the end of the exhibition, a young woman was startled, and exclaimed with her hands over her face, "My God!" She did not know about the persecution before and could not imagine that there would be such horrible things on earth. She was eager to find out about the practice site at the University of Victoria, and said that she would learn the exercises soon.