The Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truth Compassion Tolerance) International Exhibition finished its 2013 UK tour in the fifteen century Town Hall of the capitol of the Cotswolds – Cirencester – just before Christmas.
The Exhibition’s unique blend of Renaissance realism and Chinese legends together with contemporary Chinese history has astonished, delighted, and moved thousands around the world since its first tour in 2006.
The opening event for the Cirencester Exhibition was on Nov. 30 and attracted nearly 500 guests including city officials, the director of the venue, artists, business people, and locals from all walks of life.
Opening the exhibition, Rev Canon Leonard Doolan, Vicar of Cirencester, said, “We hope that the three weeks that you are here will bring you great blessings; that people will come here, will enjoy the art; some may purchase some of the art; but for us as the Parish Church, it really is wonderful to be able to welcome you and to host you here for these three weeks.
“So, I wish you God’s blessing on all that you do over these next few weeks,” he said.
Rev Doolan is a popular local vicar as well as having Church appointments worldwide. He was appointed Canon of Douala Cathedral, Cameroon, in 2009; Honorary Canon of Gloucester in 2012; and Area Dean of Cirencester at the end of 2011.
The paintings are unique in contemporary art. They are created following the belief of ancient China where artists were required to develop inner purity, good morals, inner peace, and serenity, and only then were thought to be able to produce works which were positive, moving, and could touch people’s hearts, encouraging deeper reflection.
The paintings encompass the realism familiar to Greek, Roman, and Renaissance art, and with the richness of traditional Chinese insight.
Organiser Mr Roman Kingswell said, “So many people who saw a sample image on the promotional materials were asking ‘Is that a photograph?’ and hearing that it was an oil painting, replied with bright eyes, ‘Really? Then I will definitely come and see it.’ “
The stories are told in seven themes. These form a story of the creation of the Universe through its present manifestations into the future.
Together with Mr Keith Chegwin, TV presenter and actor, and the Mayor of Cirencester, Cllr Joe Harris, the youngest Mayor in the UK, having been elected at the age of 20, Rev. Doolan had earlier switched on the town’s Christmas lights directly outside the Exhibition venue.
Both Mr Chegwin and Cllr Harris accepted a paper lotus flower from the Exhibition with its message of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance and sent their best wishes.
Rev. Doolan then went on to recommend the Exhibition to the half a million visitors outside the venue, who were there to join in the Christmas festivities.
On exhibit were 30 paintings by nine artists, most of whom paint in oils but some in traditional Chinese watercolour.
The content depicts the richness of the beliefs of Falun Gong – a traditional qigong practice that teaches the principles of truthfulness, compassion, and tolerance – that has been persecuted since 1999 by the communist regime in China.
Saturday December 21 was the last day of the three-week stay at the Town Hall, upstairs in the Church of St. John the Baptist.
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