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Meeting Hai Yan

I had the honour of staying in the same hotel as the artist Haiyan Kong who won gold medal at the 5th NTDTV international figure painting competition held in New York City November 2019.

Hai-Yan Kong (l) with me (r) after I had been presented with the drawing she had done of me at the Salmagundi Club, Manhattan, New York.

She shared with me about her life in Hong Kong and before that in Beijing and also her painting technique.

Her award winning painting took 5 years of 16 hour days to complete and was about the historic event that took place 25th April 1999 in Beijing she was also there that day and so the painting is deeply personal for her as well as historically important.

Hai-Yan also explained that she researched and documented every detail for the painting in order for it to be historically correct, from the trees, to the pavements, to the roofs and also the police officers uniform which was green before 1999 and then they changed it to black after that. The historic photos of the actual event were too fuzzy to use for the painting so she used other Falun Dafa practitioners as models instead including herself and some fellow artists from the Zhen Shan Ren (Truth Compassion Forbearance) International art exhibition , and so therefore, sometimes, in my understanding, one has to make allowances in order for a painting to be completed.

Hai-Yan Kong seated in front of the Gold Medal Painting '4:25' at the NTDTV 5th International Oil Paining competition; Salagmundi Club New York; November 2019. (NTD/Epochtimes)

Below is about what that significant date means

What happened that day?

The historic April 25th at Zhongnanhai, Beijing

On April 25, 1999, some 10,000 Chinese people gathered in early morning in Beijing, urban and rural, young and old. They were practitioners of Falun Gong. They had come to the country’s central appeals office to ask the government to stop its escalating harassment—including the beating and arrest of over 40 practitioners in the nearby city Tianjin the day before—and to allow an open environment for their practice. They stood in an orderly line. Some meditated, others chatted quietly.

It was the largest and most peaceful protest in Beijing in years. The Chinese premier came out to meet with Falun Gong representatives . That evening, their concerns were met and everyone went home. But then-CCP head Jiang Zemin had other plans. Three months later, he launched a massive persecution campaign. When the state-run media’s propaganda apparatus went into full swing, the April 25th gathering was quickly re-characterized. It was not depicted as the peaceful appeal it was, but rather as Falun Gong “laying siege” to the central government compound. This false account was used to portray Falun Gong as a provocative political group and to justify the horrific persecution Jiang had just unleashed.

Learn more about the painting here with an NTD short film about Hai-Yan


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