Epoch Times Staff
Dec 13, 2008


Li Yuan
Li Yuan's winning painting

NEW YORK--With his impressive and meaningful painting "Suffering in China," artist Li Yuan won the Gold Award in the first NTDTV Chinese International Figure Painting Competition. Mr. Li, who lives in Japan, said that it was the mission of the competition to find pure beauty, compassionate and truthful paintings, that inspired him to join.

When he was nine years old he started to learn the foundations of painting taught by his uncle, who was an oil painter. His first painting was "Water and Life", a study of a human hand with a jet of water splashing through the fingers. Mr. Li explains that faith in his dreams was very important for him to get to the point where he is now: "When I started to learn, my uncle made a sketchbook for me on which he wrote four Chinese characters with the meaning, 'persistence.' This idea to carry on, no matter what happens became my life motto."

As his painting career was full of ups and downs, a lot of persistence was needed. Li Yuan had the inner determination to become a good painter, even when he had problems passing the exams during his six year study of fine arts: "There was a voice inside me that made me pursue this way, as I felt that it was somehow my destiny to be an artist."

From the composition and style of his entries one can clearly see that Li Yuan is deeply inspired by the old masters of the Renaissance: "I was often very touched when I studied their works, which depict Christian themes and are filled with divine beings," Li said.

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Yet his paintings deal with the great stories of today, such as the persecution of the peaceful meditation practice Falun Gong in China. A Falun Gong practitioner himself, Li Yuan feels it his duty to tell the people about the human tragedy behind the CCP's still ongoing persecution of Falun Gong. Yet his paintings are far from being political statements. In a very human and touching way they make viewers consider what they might feel if it would happen to them.

Li Yuan has painted a lot of pictures about the persecution of Falun Gong. In the Award winning painting, a young woman sits on a bed, while behind her lies her husband--dead, a torn piece of paper in his hand. But the traces of violence are subtle and lie in shadow, the painting doesn't shout out its message. From the careful details and symbols, the viewer gets the hint that the man died of being tortured in a brainwashing center. The woman's face, appearing in warm light, expresses her inner struggle and at the same time her determination not to give up.

"In modern days this kind of intensity of persecution and level is beyond peoples' imagination and almost unbelievable for them. I wanted to use my brush pen to let them know about all this. When I first learned how many people have been tortured to death, I really was shocked. My picture 'Suffering in China' doesn't deal with a specific case, but it shows this life and death situation in a broader perspective," the artist explained.

Winners of NTDTV's First Chinese International Photography Competition

The Winners of NTDTV's first Chinese International Photography Competition were announced on December 12th at the Ukrainian Institute of America. Out of almost 10,000 submissions, the jury chose 80 finalists whose works were displayed at the finalists exhibition at the same location.

Each Gold Award won $1,500 or photographic equipment of equivalent value. The Silver Awards won $800 or photographic equipment of equivalent value, and the Bronze Award was $500 or photographic equipment of equivalent value.

The Special Award of $5000 was won by Edward Dai, USA, for his picture "Rectifying Fa"

The Winners are:

Category A: Society and Humanity

Linrong Xie, China, Gold, "The High Cost" taken during the Sichuan Earthquake
Peng Yuan, China, Silver, "Journey"
Chien-tsen Tang, Taiwan, Silver "Leading"
Hua Chen, China, Bronze, "Castle in the Gap"
Daning Chen, China, Bronze, "Returning from Training"
Ip Ka Wing Jay, China, Bronze, "Home and Garden"

Category B: Nature and Landscapes

Samshum, China, Gold , "Serenity in a Remote Village"
Mr. Lee, Canada, Silver, "Spring Tilling"
KTCHI, Taiwan, Silver, "Tea Harvesting"
Jeff Chen Kuo Chih, USA, Bronze, "San Francisco Sunrise"
Gene Wong, USA, Bronze, "Crossing the Desert"
Chiang, Tsun-Hsiung, Taiwan, Bronze, "Colorful Earth"

The Winners of NTDTV's first Chinese International Figure Painting Competition were announced on December 12th during the award ceremony at the Ukrainian Institute of America:

Yuan Li, Japan, "Suffering in China", Gold
Yiming Fan, China, "Tibetan Boy", Silver
Yi Zhen, China, "New Dress", Silver
Xi Qiang, USA, "Dignity", Bronze
Zhandong Yan, China, "Drum Girl", Bronze
Ru Bin, China, "Girl and Petal", Bronze

Honorable Mentions Awards:

Lefu Gu, "First Prayer Lesson" USA
Jing Wang, Japan, "Return"
Tsung Ya Shin, Taiwan, "Mother Expecting Her Son Back"
Fu Sheng, China, "Lady in Red"
Jian jiang Guo, Taiwan, "Hada"
Daoyuan Guo, Canada, "Scent of History"
Yu-ru Yang, Taiwan, "The Divine Light"
Guang Xian, China, "Light of Blessing"
Joe-hing Lowe, USA, "In Red Dragon Robe"
Chin-Shing Kuo, Taiwan, "Childhood"
Sheng-yang Lee, Taiwan, "My Father"
Julee Yang, Taiwan, "Picking Rise"
Ren Liu, China, "Divine Journey"