Italian city opens Chinese dissident art show despite pressure from Beijing
13 November 2021
Chinese dissident artist Badiucao opened his first solo show in the northern Italian city of Brescia on Saturday, with works criticizing China’s human rights record.
Chinese officials tried to put pressure on the city to cancel the event — but organizers went ahead anyway in a bid to “support freedom of expression.”
What makes it so controversial?
The exhibition, which bears the title “China is (not) near — Works of a dissident artist,” is on display at the Museum of Santa Giulia.
“Because my art is always focusing on human rights issues in China … it makes me almost the type of No. 1 enemy,” Badiucao told reporters.
“So that is why, for me, it is really hard to actually having an exhibition in an established gallery, a museum like this,” he added.
One of the more provocative works is a hybrid portrait of Chinese President Xi Jinping and Hong Kong chief executive Carrie Lam — highlighting the decline of rights in the former British colony.