Experiences from the Zhen–Shan–Ren Art Exhibition in Sweden

Pirjo Svensson

PureInsight | October 31, 2005

[PureInsight.org] I am a practitioner from Sweden. I would like to share with you some of my personal experiences and those of my fellow practitioners from working with the "Zhen–Shan–Ren International Art Exhibition" in Sweden.

During the Fa-conference in Stockholm in June 2005, we had an art exhibition for the first time in Sweden. I took two weeks of vacation time to stay in Stockholm to attend the Fahui Conference and to work with the art exhibition.

An experienced practitioner from Canada and one from the United States came to help us. During the opening ceremony the practitioner from Canada offered a guided tour to the audience. He needed a translator from English to Swedish, so I offered to do the translation. The guided tour took at least one and a half hours due to translation required. Amazingly, almost all of the audience stayed for the whole time. The Canadian practitioner stayed in absolute focus with the audience and this helped me to also stay focused. I could see that everyone was listening very carefully and did not want to miss one word.

The whole guided tour was a very special and unique experience. When that day was over my mind was so peaceful and serene. Our Master has given us a great gift. The tour had purified my mind and soul and I felt this deep and soft happiness inside. Through my own experience I could now truly understand the power of the Fa in the art exhibition and how the Buddhas, Daos, and Gods behind each of the paintings helped to awaken people and save their lives.

Practitioners sent out many invitations to attend the art exhibition, and a couple of days before the opening, a few of us went to personally invite some of the media. On the second day a man came who had seen the painting "Tragedy in China" in the newspaper and wanted to immediately buy the original painting.

A few hours before the opening ceremony, a journalist working for Finnish radio in Stockholm came to conduct an interview. Even though my experience was limited in giving a tour I gave her an explanation of the paintings as I was the only practitioner who could speak the Finnish language. She was very cynical, and believed we were doing this as some form of propaganda. She had a lot of opinions about the paintings. I was surprised by her harsh attitude. I thought she was being interfered with. I did not argue with her. I just listened, answered her questions, and explained the paintings as best as I could, while looking into her eyes and sending forth righteous thoughts. She did not seem to believe in the persecution and that it was so severe. So, I told how my friends had been persecuted in China, the story of the artist Zhang Cuiying, and how Zhang Cuiying had been tortured in a Chinese prison. Then her attitude changed and she asked with a concerned voice how Ms. Zhang Cuiying was doing today and whether she had been severely traumatized. Before leaving the exhibition she went to look at the painting "In Harmony" for a while alone. I hope that something finally touched her heart and helped her to be saved. I learned from this experience that it is important when meeting media or anyone that we keep our thoughts very righteous and take the leading role. People come with different notions and some people cannot take the paintings into their hearts. It is important not to be discouraged and moved by different people's attitudes. We just do our best to save as many people as we can.

The next experience was with another journalist which was much better. Before he came I sent forth righteous thoughts and also asked a couple of fellow practitioners to help me with righteous thoughts. I was now more confident in giving an explanation about the paintings. He was sensitive to the art and quite touched. He wrote a good article about the painting "Come Back Daddy" along with the story of the little girl Fadu.

During the summer, two exhibitions were held in Stockholm. The second exhibition lasted for about six weeks and was in the heart of the city, in the Old Town. Many tourists as well as the local people visited the exhibition. Every day we made sure to have at least one practitioner outside handing out flyers. One day a Chinese practitioner who did not speak Swedish handed out lotus flowers to the people passing by. She was smiling kindly and invited them to come in. This very simple and kind act from her heart helped many people to come in and see the exhibition. After that we would sometimes hand out both lotus flowers and flyers. In addition, some visitors wanted to learn to fold lotus flowers. This gave us a valuable opportunity to tell them the truth about Falun Dafa and the persecution while at same time teaching them to fold the lotus flowers.

Many tourists from different countries visited us. Two businessmen from Holland came by one evening. They did not have much time, but did see a few paintings. One of them had done business in China. I could see the sadness in his eyes when I was explaining a painting depicting torture. Looking at the painting "In Harmony" he said that this is very interesting and that he also did meditation.

A person from Thailand, now living in Stockholm, visited the gallery with her friend. While I was explaining the painting "Coming for You" she told me that when she had called her friend to invite him to the exhibition, he drew a picture while they were talking over the phone. He explained that the drawing he had made was like the Buddha picture in one of the paintings. I knew his primordial spirit already knew he was going to be saved.

A person from Spain told us that the paintings gave a lot hope and were expressions of good ideals. One Chinese visitor liked the exhibition a lot and took materials to all his Chinese friends. Most people were very grateful, especially the ones who did the whole tour. Some even gave us big hugs with tears in their eyes and many wrote encouraging statements in the guestbook.

During the art exhibition we understood that the practitioners who are giving the tours must not have any notions or uncomfortable feelings about any painting. Our notions might prevent the people from understanding the paintings and taking them into their hearts. From our first exhibition, we also learned the importance of sending righteous thoughts often. Many obstacles and interference would then be removed. More visitors would also come. The practitioners' sending righteous thoughts created a strong energy field and the gallery became very bright.

Practitioners worked very hard to make the exhibitions successful by sending invitations to hundreds of people in Stockholm, putting up signs, and making flyers. Everybody was working very harmoniously together. However, since our Dafa work is about cultivation after all, some interference developed after some time due to misunderstandings and attachments of practitioners. We knew this only happened to improve our xinxing, but still was difficult to resolve. Sometimes we felt confused and it was difficult to resolve the situation. We held telephone conferences, talked things over, and tried to understand what had caused the problems. We studied the Fa together before beginning our discussions and we became more compassionate toward each other. We realized some difficulties had to do with our attachments and some were interference that should just be eliminated with righteous thoughts.

Some interference with the owner of the gallery turned out well in the end. The gallery is in the Old Town and it is quite famous in Stockholm. The owner was very positive in the beginning. Then later on two art critics had called and asked her if she was really going to host the exhibition in her gallery. Because of her concern for her reputation, some misunderstandings from our part, and probably due to a missing part in our truth clarification to her some difficulties appeared which also created financial losses.

I had never met her. When I learned she was born in Finland just like me, I thought this is no coincidence. One day I invited her to come and see the exhibition. The day she came one of her friends, a famous artist, had just finished a guided tour. The artist was very enthusiastic and told her how good the exhibition was. After I had given the gallery owner the guided tour she remarked that we had arranged the paintings very well and it all looked very good. She was very friendly and apologized for having given us troubles. Before leaving she wrote her name in the petition letter. Later on, she came back to meet other practitioners and even joined the Falun Gong group practice on Sundays. She felt the Falun Gong exercises were very good.

We learned from this lesson that when introducing the exhibition to gallery owners there should always be at least two practitioners and be sure to clarify the truth well. We also need to support the person who wants to help us, because they could get pressure from the outside.

The Zhen–Shan–Ren International Art Exhibition has now been held in four cities in Sweden. It has given us a new dimension for opening up peoples' hearts to the truth and the terrible persecution of the kindest people, our fellow practitioners in China.

One exhibition was held recently in a church in a small city called Mora. The organizing practitioner wrote to us telling that many people during the recent years have received materials about Falun Gong and the persecution, but after seeing the paintings they said that they finally could really understand.

She also mentioned a local newspaper editor who had come to the exhibition. He had always been negative towards Falun Gong; however, after seeing the art exhibition he changed completely and said the exhibition was fantastic.

One of the priests, while looking at the painting "In Harmony," said, "This painting is absolutely fantastic, the whole exhibition is incredible, the paintings and the techniques are wonderful, and the message clear and obvious. I cannot understand how the persecution can go on."

The work of being the tour guide of these paintings was an unforgettable experience. I learned to forget about myself and turn all my focus on the person to be saved. Sometimes both the visitor and I would both have tears in our eyes. It was about meeting another human being heart to heart, and to be giving the visitor the best gift he or she could ever receive.

The Zhen–Shan–Ren Art Exhibition is a precious gift our Master and the artists have given us. With the art we can reach people we normally cannot reach so easily. I would also like to encourage all the practitioners to have a personal guided tour, and also learn how to be a guide. I hope we can make the best use of the paintings, support each other, learn from our different experiences, and become a strong Dafa body. Together we can help to save more people while we still have time.

A fellow practitioner expressed this beautifully in his sharing about the art exhibition: "There are many kindhearted people out there, waiting to hear the truth, and Master's Fashen will lead them to us. And all we need to do is to be a good guide and let our Buddha-nature and compassion shine brightly.

I would like to conclude with Master's words to the European Fa Conference in Stockholm (June 12, 2005):

"To the European Fa Conference:

Greetings, Dafa disciples.

Everything in the world was established and created for the Fa-rectification, and Dafa disciples are the great figures of our time. Since ancient times the beings in all realms have waited in anticipation. Gather up and rescue the beings that you are to save! Have righteous thoughts and righteous actions, dissolve all hindrances, and spread the facts widely. Divine beings are among men.

I wish the Fa conference success."

Add new comment