(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners in Mumbai secured a booth at the HAAT of Art Exhibition to display paintings from the Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren collection from November 9 to November 11, 2023. They told visitors about Falun Dafa and the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of the practice.
The exhibition, held at the NESCO Centre in Mumbai, is the first stop in a series of four shows that bring the arts to India’s largest cultural centres, with a final show in Dubai. Altogether, the tour brings more than 10,000 visitors to its locations every year, including celebrities from different spheres of Indian society.
The practitioners of Falun Dafa, also known as Falun Gong, arranged 13 paintings in their booth for visitors to view. Each artwork was created by practitioners who are fine artists and depict the beauty of a life lived according to Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance, as well as the strength of practitioners in China who resist the CCP’s now 24-year-long persecution.
Many visitors stopped at the practitioners’ stall to view the paintings and listen to practitioners explain the stories behind them. People told practitioners that they were touched by the unyielding spirit of the practitioners in China, being struck by both the quality of the artworks as well as the message of hope in the face of adversity.
Award-Winning Painter: “I Thank These Artists For Their Good Work For Society”
The word “HAAT” means bazaar in Hindi and is pronounced similarly to the English word “heart,” which makes the name of the exhibition a play on words. Throughout the exhibition, many attendees indeed commented about the heart that they could feel behind the practitioners’ paintings.
Painter Premjit Baria was an exhibitor at the art show who was awarded the Padma Shri from the Indian government for his remarkable contributions to art. He came to the practitioners’ booth to view the paintings and was most drawn to the paintings’ spiritual themes. “I am very impressed by this art as to how it connects us with the divine. All paintings convey real stories and easily communicate their inner meanings,” he said.
Baria expressed his respect for the artists who worked on the pieces. “I’m very grateful and thank the practitioners and artists for the good work for our society,” he said.
Another visitor to the booth, Mohanish Rao commended the artists’ dedication to telling the stories of practitioners in China. “This [exhibition] shows that art cannot be caged,” he said.
He also thanked the artists for telling such an important story through their paintings. “I would like to express gratitude and congratulate the artists of these paintings. You are changing the world,” Rao said.
Marukh Godha was a visitor who felt a connection with the Chinese motifs displayed in many of the paintings. She had visited China before and said she understands the oppressive nature of the Chinese regime against its own citizens.
She was very moved by the art pieces and said, “Absolutely heart-wrenching how the [Falun Dafa] believers are being persecuted. God help the persecutors and give them enough sense and enough kindness in their hearts to deal with their own people more humanely. I am very touched.”
Vinod Kumar, an attendee from Luchnow, had tears in his eyes while viewing the paintings. He was deeply touched by the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance and the practitioners’ suffering during the on-going persecution. He said that he could feel truthfulness in the paintings and in the eyes of the practitioners at the booth. He felt a connection with the teachings of Falun Dafa and bought some Falun Dafa books from the booth to take home and read.
One of the organisers of the Art exhibition, Madhuri Yadav, stopped by to give the practitioners a few words of encouragement. “Keep expressing your thoughts. We are with you. The world should know about this,” she said.
The Exhibition Touches Students
The practitioners’ booth attracted visitors of all ages, including Rudraa Shukla, a 9-year-old artist who was mesmerised by the depth of the paintings and the stories of the practitioners.
The very next day she brought her mother, Hemanli, to view the paintings as well. After understanding the situation in China that the paintings depicted, Hemanli also felt sympathy for the practitioners and said she could see why her daughter was so moved.
An art teacher from the Sacred Heart School in Mumbai took her students to visit the Falun Dafa booth. Her class was grateful to practitioners for informing them about the persecution of practitioners in China, and also about the spiritual practice Falun Dafa. The students recited “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
A local news channel, Superstar 24, covered the event and gave a special report about the Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren booth.
Indian Celebrities Visit the Practitioners’ Booth
Another highlight of the exhibition is the number of Indian celebrities that visit. The exhibition website estimates that more than 100 celebrities come to experience the art.
The curator partner of the art exhibition is Vindu Dara Singh, a television personality and actor. He visited the Falun Dafa practitioners’ booth with veteran actor Ranjeet Bedi and learned about the ongoing persecution in China.
He mentioned that it was a very bold move by practitioners to spread awareness about the true situation in China.
Falguni Pathak, a renowned singer, listened to a practitioner’s explanation about Falun Dafa and took some informational materials.
Rajkumar Kanojia is an Indian actor known for his comedy roles. He took a guided tour of the paintings with a practitioner and listened intently to the stories behind each painting.
Other Indian celebrities who listened to the practitioners’ explanation included actor Sunil Shetty and actor and body builder Thakur Anoop Singh. Both of them accepted informational materials about Falun Dafa before they left.
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