Falun Dafa practitioner Yi Yang (alias) was born into a family of artists. His father is a painter and a teacher. In his middle school years, Mr. Yi started to show a strong interest in painting. After he graduated from high school, he successfully got into the country's top art school. However the courses there did not satisfy Yi's curiosity about the arts. At his young age, he started to use his spare time to walk the streets regardless of weather, rain or shine. He specifically looked for street people or others loitering about and asked their permission to draw a sketch of them, or even a quick sketch if time was short. The extensive basic training helped Yi to gain confidence and vision about his future path of art creation.
After he graduated from college, Mr. Yi held a stable job in the art field. He also had a private studio at work and started to work diligently doing oil painting.
The entire society in China tends to focus only on money due to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) atheistic brainwashing and policy of “Reform and Opening Up.” The moral standard is declining and materialism is on the rise. The arts are also pursued by the extremely degenerate, with the artistic moral standard declining. Following the tide, Yi also gradually abandoned the traditional artistic approach and pursued novelty and abstract art. He started to paint things that neither others nor he could understand.
Yi started creating increasingly larger paintings in his studio, filling the canvas with intense and blunt colors, and painting randomly. His paintings became full of darkness and horror. Gradually, Yi also became mentally unstable. He stayed inside his studio and waved his brushes and painted with emotion. Yi recalled that by then he felt like he was a giant rodent without eyes, in the very dark of the underworld. When he waved his brushes, he felt like the rodent was eating everything it encountered and tearing everything it could touch to satisfy its bloody desire. His female colleagues at work were even afraid to go into his studio, saying that it was too scary.
But Mr. Yi felt he was very successful. In 1994, with encouragement from his artist friends, he started to prepare his work for exhibition, including a European exhibition tour.
Mr. Yi was fortunate enough to read the book Zhuan Falun in 1995. The magnificent Fa principles deeply touched him and he started practicing Falun Gong. Falun Dafa's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance measure everyone and everything from this fundamental standard. With in-depth study of the Fa, Yi started to rethink his views about art. He realized that his so-called “art creation” under degenerate human notions did not conform to the nature and principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. It was just a vent for evil nature. He made up his mind to give up the European exhibition tour and all the opportunities for fame and big money that accompanied it. To his friends' shock and puzzlement, he threw away all his previous work, which filled a truck.
Yi subsequently simply used a pen to draw geometric sketches, and also established the future direction of his artwork, realism and traditional painting. His friends were surprised to see that his simple sketches had a lot of strength inside. It seemed like the pictures had a halo-like glow, and the composition and the relationship between light and dark was also very beautiful. After he started to cultivate Falun Dafa, Yi got rid of his notions of decadence. With the improvement of his moral standard and spiritual level as a result of cultivation, his health also greatly improved. He became open and healthy.
Mr. Yi also became the voluntary coordinator of the Falun Gong practice site near his home. He worked with enthusiasm for everyone. Every morning he brought a tape player and arrived at the practice site first. At night, he organized the practitioners to study the Fa together. He also led the practitioners to do the meditation outdoors in winter. Yi is strict with himself, striving to live by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, but treats his colleagues, friends, and family very kindly. He always has a smile on his face.
In July 1999, the CCP and former-leader Jiang Zemin together launched the brutal persecution of Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners. Although he suffered from severe persecution and was arrested and detained many times, Yi always walked firmly on the path of cultivating Falun Dafa.
During the most severe period of imprisonment, Mr.Yi was detained at a very brutal prison. He firmly refused to be “transformed” or to do any forced labor. In the end, the guards had no idea what to do with him and no longer bothered him. The prisoners all admired him and thought he had backbone and was a strong person.
Mr. Yi faced many pressures during the persecution, which included his relatives being worried about him. But when he recalled the painful experience at the prison, he told the story with a smile. The prison was half-underground, and the window of his cell was very low. In protest of the illegal detention, Yi refused to do any forced labor. Instead, he sat on the bed to watch the clouds pass by and the vegetable field outside the windows change over the four seasons.
A few years later when he was about to finish his prison term, the guards threatened him every day that they would lock him in a brainwashing center after he finished the prison term. They said that they would not let him go home since he refused to be “transformed.” But Yi's mind was very calm and peaceful.
On the morning that Mr. Yi was to be released, the guards threatened him again. In the morning, Yi sat quietly and looked out the window. He did not know what he would face after this. He suddenly remembered that sometimes there were wild rabbits running through the vegetable field under the moon. He thought it would be great if he could see the rabbits one more time. A few minutes later, a wild rabbit ran to the prison window from far away and straight up the wall to look at him through the window. It watched him for a few minutes and then ran away. At that moment, tears filled Yi's eyes. He said that over the years he'd watched them, he only saw the rabbits at night and at a distance. He'd never seen a rabbit come out in the daytime before. He understood that Master was telling him that he was safe and that Master was with him all the time.
The prison soon notified Mr. Yi that he could leave the prison. He walked out of the prison and saw his family members and the local police waiting outside. Yi righteously asked the police officer whether they would detain him at the brainwashing center. The police officer was embarrassed and said, with his head down, “No. We don't plan to do that.”
After Yi returned home, he found that he had lost his job, so he began teaching painting for a living. He collected only very minimal fees from his students, but taught them very thoroughly. He taught the basic skills of traditional painting, and also clarified the truth of Falun Gong to the students and their parents, and gave them materials with information about Falun Gong. The students and their parents trusted Yi very much and knew that he was a good person who cultivates Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Due to his limited financial resources, Mr. Yi could not afford a studio but used his shabby room and simple painting tools to start creating art again. After he studied Master's Fa Lecture, “Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art,” he became more determined to walk the path of traditional fine art and realism.
Yi created a painting which was full of praise for the greatness of Falun Dafa. The Arhats and heavenly kings from the East, the gods and angels from the West were all illuminated under Falun Dafa's divine light. Falun Dafa disciples were sitting on huge lotus flowers with one palm erect to eliminate the evil and help Master rectify the Fa and save sentient beings. The divine Falun turns at the practitioner's lower abdomen. In the bottom right corner, Jiang Zemin had the appearance of a toad, along with the CCP's evil red dragon and its evil symbol being knocked down to Hell by the divine power.
This painting was purchased by a wealthy person in China who understood the truth of Falun Gong very well. He really appreciated the painting and agreed to depicting Jiang in Hell in the painting. He said, “This is history. In the future this will be very valuable.” He hung the painting in his home and told Yi he wanted to collect more of his artwork in the future.