© Shakespeare Productions | 2006 | 32mins | Introduction

The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren (Truth, Compassion, Tolerance) International Exhibition is an extraordinarily moving, intimate and inspiring exhibition detailing both an inner spiritual life and an outer human rights tragedy. Realistic oil paintings and Chinese watercolours from mostly Chinese artists give a unique insight into the spiritual discipline Falun Gong, also called Falun Dafa.

This video was produced for the Art of Zhen Shan Ren, a group of artists that have come together to express their experience of practicing Falun Dafa. Working on this project was truly quite inspirational, these artists have worked for years to create these paintings, and we filmed them all two days, It was great to work with such talented artists. As they guided us through the stories of the paintings we filmed them according to how the eye should travel through the pictures to understand the story. Working as a DP I was amazed at how little I knew about traditional composition and guidance of the eye, unravelling the symmetry, balance focus and interest of each painting was just an amazing experience, let alone learning about the powerful stories behind each painting, then editing the project together was an whole other enlightening experience. It took a few weeks to finish the editing after reviews, then we duplicated DVDs for global distribution, the dvds are playing on TVs inside the exhibits around the world.

The Art of Truth, Compassion, Tolerance consists of works from over twelve artists. Their backgrounds are varied and diverse in terms of professional experience, artistic styles and cultural upbringing. What they have in common in their practice of Falun Gong is united in an effort to express the myriad of experiences of living in it.

It was the release of Professor Kunlun Zhang, arrested for his belief in Falun Gong, from a Chinese brainwashing center in 2001 that spurred communication between the artists, many of whom have never even met face to face. In the course of sharing experiences and understandings over three years, the ideas for the exhibit began to take shape. Realist oil painting, or New-Renaissance, was chosen as the style for its narrative capabilities, accessibility and, above all, its simplistic purity. The exhibit would encompass four main themes: harmony, adversity, courage and justice.

By 2004 works that are part of the present collection began to be produced. Today there are 33 pieces in total. Artists include: Xiaoping Chen, Dr. Xiqiang Dong, Kathy Gillis, Yuan Li, Daci Shen, Weixing Wang and Dr. Kunlun Zhang.