Pro-democracy artists show off anti-China messages in ‘Zhang GuoQiang is inside you’ show

As President Xi Jinping was meeting with Kim Jong Un at a summit in Beijing on Friday, a pro-democracy activist group in Italy launched a provocative art exhibition alongside the words “Zhang GuoQiang is inside you” — the first public reference to the Chinese artist known for painting the Great Wall of China.

The You Beautiful show, which was inaugurated Thursday, is a staunch critic of China’s Communist Party’s history as well as the continuing persecution of civil society and the Occupy Central movement.

“We’re not at the time where we can say it will explode because the level of repression is still great,” said Laura Michaloliak, who heads women’s rights and labor rights advocacy group Femen.

The group — which has recently taken down the traditional red crosses that Chinese women wear in public — dedicated their protest to Mao Zedong, who founded the Communist Party.

“He’s responsible for everything that happened after,” Michaloliak said. “Even in education, there are still no half-answers.”

The show also calls for the release of Ai Weiwei, the internationally famous Beijing-based artist and activist, who has been called the “Bishop of the Internet.” Ai has been detained several times since 2009 and accused of tax evasion, and is currently serving a five-year sentence in a “labour re-education” camp.

The You Beautiful show comes amid heightened tensions between Beijing and the West, particularly the United States, with China-bashing and bashing-BRAVERY.

Read the full story at the Guardian.

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