Art of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance International Exhibition Wraps Up in Montreal
Art of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance International Exhibition Wraps Up in Montreal
Diane Du Sablon, special assistant to Irwin Cotler, Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, gave a speech on behalf of the MP at the opening of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibit in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. In an interview later, Du Sablon said: “Mr Cotler has worked during his whole life for international justice, human rights. He was elected to Parliament in 1999 … with the intention to pursue this mission. … Mr. Kunlun Zhang was the first Falun Gong practitioner that professor Cotler represented as an MP. His relationship with Falun Dafa started at that moment.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Diane Du Sablon, special assistant to Irwin Cotler, Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, gave a speech on behalf of the MP at the opening of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibit in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. In an interview later, Du Sablon said: “Mr Cotler has worked during his whole life for international justice, human rights. He was elected to Parliament in 1999 … with the intention to pursue this mission. … Mr. Kunlun Zhang was the first Falun Gong practitioner that professor Cotler represented as an MP. His relationship with Falun Dafa started at that moment.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Artist Kunlun Zhang (L) and Lizhi He stand in front of a painting titled “Illumination” by Xiaoping Shen, at the Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) International Exhibition at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. Professor Zhang is general coordinator of the Zhen Shan Ren exhibition and the recipient of many art awards whose paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in many countries. He was a prisoner of conscience in China for his practice of Falun Gong. In 2001, he was released through the efforts of his family, friends, and the Canadian government. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Artist Kunlun Zhang (L) and Lizhi He stand in front of a painting titled “Illumination” by Xiaoping Shen, at the Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) International Exhibition at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. Professor Zhang is general coordinator of the Zhen Shan Ren exhibition and the recipient of many art awards whose paintings and sculptures have been exhibited in many countries. He was a prisoner of conscience in China for his practice of Falun Gong. In 2001, he was released through the efforts of his family, friends, and the Canadian government. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Ottawa artist Kathleen Gillis, who practices Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa), stands in front of a painting at the exhibit at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. “Being in Montreal, being in Quebec is touching to me because Quebeckers understand art and treasure it,” she said. “And as people understand art, they can grasp that this is part of their concern as well. And that’s very moving to me.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Ottawa artist Kathleen Gillis, who practices Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa), stands in front of a painting at the exhibit at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. “Being in Montreal, being in Quebec is touching to me because Quebeckers understand art and treasure it,” she said. “And as people understand art, they can grasp that this is part of their concern as well. And that’s very moving to me.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Toronto resident and Falun Gong practitioner Lizhi He speaks at the opening of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibit at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. He is a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience who endured torture and abuse while imprisoned in China for his practice of Falun Gong. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Toronto resident and Falun Gong practitioner Lizhi He speaks at the opening of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibit at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. He is a former Amnesty International prisoner of conscience who endured torture and abuse while imprisoned in China for his practice of Falun Gong. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Artist Kathleen Gillis gives a guided tour of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibition at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Artist Kathleen Gillis gives a guided tour of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibition at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Among those attending the opening of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibition in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014, were Nate Dagane (L) and Alexandear Chaboud, president and vice-president of strategy and marketing at Concordia University’s Model United Nations chapter. “I have been particularly moved by the realistic paintings that speak directly about the persecution of Falun Dafa. They resonate inside me,” said Dagane, at Galerie Lozeau. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Among those attending the opening of the Zhen Shan Ren art exhibition in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014, were Nate Dagane (L) and Alexandear Chaboud, president and vice-president of strategy and marketing at Concordia University’s Model United Nations chapter. “I have been particularly moved by the realistic paintings that speak directly about the persecution of Falun Dafa. They resonate inside me,” said Dagane, at Galerie Lozeau. (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Florence Chapdelaine visited the Art of Zhen Shan Ren exhibit with her husband and daughter at Galerie Lozeau, Montreal, on Sept. 27, 2014. Although Chapdelaine is visually impaired, she still felt that she understood the paintings. She said: “What I understood from the explanations is that this exhibition gives a concrete vision of the values of Falun Gong. That’s what I feel through the paintings. I’d like to see them, but I was able to understand that through what my daughter and the artist explained. … I’m happy to be here. I bathed in that beautiful energy.” Her husband, Claude Quiviger, said he appreciated the “fundamental human values” he perceived in the exhibition. “I think there is something very important in the basic message: truth, compassion, tolerance.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

Florence Chapdelaine visited the Art of Zhen Shan Ren exhibit with her husband and daughter at Galerie Lozeau, Montreal, on Sept. 27, 2014. Although Chapdelaine is visually impaired, she still felt that she understood the paintings. She said: “What I understood from the explanations is that this exhibition gives a concrete vision of the values of Falun Gong. That’s what I feel through the paintings. I’d like to see them, but I was able to understand that through what my daughter and the artist explained. … I’m happy to be here. I bathed in that beautiful energy.” Her husband, Claude Quiviger, said he appreciated the “fundamental human values” he perceived in the exhibition. “I think there is something very important in the basic message: truth, compassion, tolerance.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

“It’s an exhibition that I really appreciated, and I think the content as well as the paintings are number one,” said Pierrette Ménard, who visited the Art of Zhen Shan Ren exhibition with her friend at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. “It really moved me a lot.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

“It’s an exhibition that I really appreciated, and I think the content as well as the paintings are number one,” said Pierrette Ménard, who visited the Art of Zhen Shan Ren exhibition with her friend at Galerie Lozeau in Montreal on Sept. 27, 2014. “It really moved me a lot.” (Nathalie Dieul/Epoch Times)

A unique and beautiful collection of paintings was on display at Montreal’s Galerie Lozeau during a five-day exhibition this past week. The Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) International Exhibition, which has been travelling the world since 2004, recently wrapped up exhibits in several Canadian cities. Its next stop will be in Edson, Alberta, about 200 km west of Edmonton, on Nov. 1-8.

The artwork includes Western classical oil painting as well as the classical Chinese traditions of watercolour on silk and paper.

The paintings have been acclaimed for both the skill of the artists and the theme of the artwork.

To the trained eye, the works present a rich tapestry of artistic skill that wholly embraces traditional aesthetics. To the untrained eye, the beauty and care contained in each piece does not go unappreciated. Neither does the overarching theme of the exhibition—courage in the face of adversity.

The exhibition owes its genesis to a small group of artists determined to show the beauty of the spiritual practice Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong. The practice is deeply rooted in Chinese traditions and embraces the essence of China’s rich culture. Espousing the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance, Falun Dafa is practiced freely all over the world except in China, its country of origin. 

The practice was banned in China by the Communist regime in 1999 and has been the subject of a brutal and illegal persecution for the past 15 years. How could something as benign and beneficial as a meditation practice become the target of such prejudice and persecution by Chinese authorities? Many of the artworks address this dichotomy, and viewers usually express that they feel both inspired by the beauty portrayed in the works and bewildered by the absurdity and brutality of the persecution.

Professor Kunlun Zhang, the founder of the exhibit, attended the Montreal gallery opening. He once called Montreal his home and taught art at McGill University. The seasoned artist and Falun Gong practitioner experienced persecution first-hand when he was imprisoned in China for his belief in Falun Gong. His artwork depicts the torment he experienced while in captivity, but also radiates a hope and positivity that comes from a deep faith that justice will prevail.

It is a unique exhibit at a unique moment in history as the advent of technology has made the world smaller and more accessible than ever before. The deeds, both good and evil, of individuals and countries are on display for the world to see. The Zhen Shan Ren exhibit offers a window into the beauty of traditional Chinese culture displayed in sharp contrast to the brutality of the current regime in Beijing.

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