Interviews with Artists Featured in the "Uncompromising Courage" Art Exhibit: Oil Painting - "Cruel Tortures"

PureInsight | August 2, 2004

Oil painting "Cruel Tortures" by Xiao Ping

Reporter: Zhu, Qingming, reporter for Zhengjian/PureInsight Net
Xiao: Ms. Xiao, Ping, painter

Reporter: In the painting series to expose the persecution, there is a piece "Cruel Tortures," depicting two evil policemen who were putting a Dafa practitioner's head into a bucket full of excrement and urine and hanging a pregnant lady on the wall. Could you please talk about the origin of the story depicted by this painting?

Xiao: They are from true stories but I put them into a single painting for presentation. Among their tortures on female Dafa practitioners, hanging up is nothing. I have no way to depict those very dirty and cruel means. Hanging up young pregnant practitioner is something I can still depict, but I found no way to depict more serious ones. Pushing someone into a pond of excrement and urine has existed since a long time ago as a way to insult a person's human dignity.

Reporter: The hardest part to draw in this painting was…?

Xiao: Thinking out the composition of this painting gave me hard time. This painting consists of three parts. On the top part is the pregnant practitioner hung on the wall, serving as the background. Those torturing evil policemen are in the middle and on the lower part is the practitioner, who is being pushed by them. It is not easy to fit them well into a coherent piece and it may seem broken up if not handled properly. Later, I decided to put the evil persons in the dark, giving prominence to the two practitioners and letting the audience focus their eyes on the practitioners since they represent the light.

Reporter: This painting depicts a story of persecution of practitioners. You hope…?

Xiao: The audience will be touched and will know about the existence of these kinds of things, which might be a shock to them. We should have more people know the truth, have them see the real and cruel side of the persecution paintings.

Reporter: As an artist, what kind of role do you play in this anti-persecution movement?

Xiao: As far as I am concerned, I will do well what I should do. When I have participated in exhibitions or have drawn paintings for visitors in a park, I liked to tell people, who seemed to have the predestined relationship with me, the facts and truth of the persecution. I did it in a natural way, having them realize that Falun Gong practitioners are quite normal and nice.

Reporter: Has landscape painting in any way helped you get in your cultivation?

Xiao: Yes. Traditional Chinese painting of mountains and waters expresses a certain mood, showing the relationship between mountains, water, and human beings. Enjoying a good landscape painting makes you feel as if you are personally on the scene, giving you relaxed, happy, smoothed-out, and comfortable feeling, making you forget your troubles. It is a visual enjoyment to view a good landscape painting.

Reporter: Among the painters participating in this exhibition, many are professional oil painters. You are professional watercolor painter, but participated in the exhibit with oil paintings. That is very special. How do you feel about the difference between Chinese painting and western oil painting?

Xiao: Traditional Chinese painting has its own fine and beautiful means and techniques of artistic expression, such as lines, moods. It has developed in a way different from oil painting. Both of them have their own beauty. Oil painting does a better job in showing the three-dimensional effects and fine features of things. It is closer to real things and people's actual life. Traditional Chinese painting emphasizes more the creation of moods using freehand brushwork, giving you a feeling of avoiding earthly concerns and being aloof from the vulgar. Buddhism and Taoism have been spread throughout Chinese history and Confucianism has been the mainstream among all schools of thought. Most Chinese people have been influenced by the thoughts of Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism and, therefore, feel it easier to accept traditional Chinese painting. Western oil painting is very close to real things, and is very stereoscopic, belonging to a totally different style. I would like to probe into and learn more about the techniques used in oil painting to produce the feeling of thickness and heaviness, to paint realistically, and to display a certain atmosphere.

Reporter: What is the most important thing for one to become a good painter?

Xiao: That is the cultivation of one's heart. Since my childhood when I started learning painting our teachers, including the teacher who taught us mountains-and-waters painting, told us that one must have a high moral standard if he wants to be a good painter. One must hold a high moral standing if he wants to produce high-grade paintings. Therefore, I think it's a very good thing for an artist to get into cultivation.

Translated from:

Add new comment