Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

1/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Artist compelled to share vision after suffering through 'Cultural Revolution'

Artist Zhang Bingjian's latest project is easy on the eye - but with a virulent point to make as well. The Chinese artist, now based in Shanghai paints his portraits in the same rosy pinks used directly in China's 100-yuan bill which still bears the monstrous dictator Mao Zedong's face. The portraits are a "Hall of Fame" - or "Shame" depicting Chinese officials who have been nailed for corruption.

Artist Zhang Bingjian's artwork is intended to raise the issue as well as encourage the public discussion of corruption in China.

Artist Zhang Bingjian's artwork is intended to raise the issue as well as encourage the public discussion of corruption in China.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

1/9/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Asia Pacific

Keywords: Scandal, corruption, China, art, painting, Zhang Bingjian


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Zhang's artwork is intended to raise the issue as well as encourage the public discussion of corruption. He has hundreds of paintings in his "Hall of Fame" of corrupt officials who have already been sentenced.

"It doesn't matter if they have been found guilty of corruption for ten yuan or one million. This is just to make people think, seeing how it will end and making them reflect more," Zhang said. "This is the real power of art."

Between the ages of 6 and 16, Zhang suffered along with his country during the Cultural Revolution, a decade-long campaign led by Zedong that resulted in "ten years of catastrophe" as millions of people died in a national binge of self-destruction.

Zhang was told as a child that children in the U.S. were hungry and had no heating in the winter. This version of events came crashing down after he moved to the University of South Carolina to study a master's degree in visual arts, and learned that a turkey cost roughly three dollars.

"That period of time really helped me to see from a distance and have a vision much more clear of my country," Zhang says.

The "Hall of Fame" paintings are made in the south of China, where millions of copies of paintings are made with cheap labor and materials. "For me this is a way of showing the whole process of Chinese economy exports from provinces like Shenzhen, Guangzhou or Zhejiang," Zhang says.

China has recently been placed number 80 out of the 176 countries in Transparency International's index of state corruption. This rating will remain on the table for the term of China's newest Communist Party leaders.

"This year China just ranks in the middle, better than other countries like Russia [ranked at 133]," Professor Hu Xingdou of the Beijing Institute of Technology says.

"China is not the worst. The ranking shows that the country has done a lot in anti-corruption over these years, but still not enough."

Last year saw a host of horror stories related to China's corruption. Among them were revelations of the vast wealth held by Premier Wen Jiabao, to the downfall of Chongqing party Chief Bo Xilai, whose wife was convicted of murdering a British businessman.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2014
Peace:
That the Lord may grant peace to those parts of the world most battered by war and violence.
World Mission Day: That World Mission Day may rekindle in every believer zeal for carrying the Gospel into all the world.



Comments


More Asia Pacific

Many locals resigned to the volcanic destruction of their Hawaiian town Watch

Image of Lava from the Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii threatens to destroy the village of Pahoa and now it sits within 100 yards of the first house.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Lava from the Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii is threatening to destroy the village of Pahoa, just 20 miles south of Hilo, and on October 28 the lava flow made it's first inroads into the town proper by destroying a shed in the morning; now it sits within ... continue reading


While ISIS makes advances in Iraq and Syria, China fears potential Islamic revolution in western provinces Watch

Image of Chinese and Pakistani soldiers conduct a cooperative, joint-border patrol. China has large borders with Russia, Mongolia, Pakistan, India and numerous smaller countries.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

China has begun to enforce and implement strict border security in an attempt to halt the travel of Islamic extremists between the Middle East and Southeast Asia. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - This move follows reports that Uyghurs-a Muslim minority group in ... continue reading


MASSIVE FAILURE - Good money after bad in Obama opium strategy Watch

Image of Afghan farmers work their fields, just as they have since the time of Alexander the Great.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Despite American and Coalition expenditures in Afghanistan, that country has produced a record crop of opium. The crop is important because it is often used to finance extremism in the far-flung region. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The United Nations Office on ... continue reading


Six times as many people are executed in China as the rest of the world COMBINED Watch

Image of New figures show that China may execute six times as many people as the rest of the world combined.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Dui Hua Foundation, a San Francisco-based human rights group, said that China executed 2,400 prisoners last year. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Chinese government is sensitive about their executions, though the number of executed prisoners has decreased ... continue reading


How would you like to handle acid with your bare hands? For many in Bangladesh, this is their only option Watch

Image of A Bangladesh man handling toxic material without any protective equipment.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

There is a dark side in the growing labor sector of Bangladesh, one that makes workers look decades older than they are. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Sharif Hossain is just one of the workers affected. The 35-year-old has worked in the city of Old Dhaka's ... continue reading


New Indonesian president promises a 'people-centric' government Watch

Image of Indonesia's new president, Joko Widodo, during his inaugural parade.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Indonesia got a new president, Joko Widodo, a 53-year-old man who was sworn in on October 20 after Bambang Yudhoyono stepped down after having served two five-year terms. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The man from the Javan slums already has a plan for his ... continue reading


Even state-recognized church in China targeted for persecution Watch

Image of The Chinese government has infringed upon the freedom of its citizens, including gross violations of human rights and targeting churches.

By CNA/EWTN News

The state of religious freedom in China is moving from bad to worse, said U.S. Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.), responding to a new report by the Congressional-Executive Commission on China. (CNA/EWTN News) - "There's a huge gulf now" between China and the Catholic ... continue reading


Pakistani Christian woman sentenced to death by hanging on blasphemy charges Watch

Image of In spite of international outrage and hundreds of thousands of people signing a petition for her release, Asia Bibi lost an appeal to have her sentence overturned. She now faces death by hanging.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A Pakistani Christian woman has been sentenced to death by hanging following accusations that she made blasphemous comments about the prophet Mohammed. While harvesting berries in 2009, 46-year-old Asia Bibi got into a fight with a group of Muslim women who ... continue reading


Persecuted Indonesian Christians worship in strip mall Watch

Image of

By Catholic Online - (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Evangelical Christian Church in Bekasi, Indonesia is held in a most unusual place. Driven from traditional houses of worship on account of hardline Islamists, many Christians here have taken to worshiping in out-of-the-way places, such as this strip mall.  LOS ... continue reading


It's getting harder to be a Christian in Indonesia - hardline Muslims prevent the opening of churches, burn others Watch

Image of Indonesian Muslims demonstrate against Christians on Christmas.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Christians in Indonesia are facing increasing persecution as hardline Muslims gain more influence in government. Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country and is moving increasingly towards Sharia law. JAKARTA, INDONESIA (Catholic Online) - Indonesia is the ... continue reading


All Asia Pacific News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ephesians 6:10-20
10 Finally, grow strong in the Lord, with the ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 13:31-35
31 Just at this time some Pharisees came up. 'Go ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for October 30th, 2014 Image

St. Alphonsus Rodriguez
October 30: Confessor and Jay brother, also called Alonso. He was born in ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter