Liu Xiaobo memorialised in social art

Source: BBC News (7/14/17)
Liu Xiaobo: The Chinese dissident memorialised in social art

Badiucao's latest cartoon commemorating Liu Xiaobo's death, called Final Freedom

Image copyright BADIUCAO Image captionArtist Badiucao’s cartoon commemorating Liu Xiaobo’s death, called Final Freedom

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo was an inspiring figure for a new generation of Chinese pro-democracy activists and his death is being remembered by political artists.

Many activists saw him as a godfather for their cause, and have paid tribute to a man who was branded a criminal by Chinese authorities for his activism and jailed several times for “subversion”.

One source of inspiration was the well-documented love between Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, who has also been placed under house arrest.

This image of them, which was circulated recently by their activist friends, particularly resounded with many.

An undated handout photo made available through the twitter account of Guangzhou-based activist Ye Du, shows Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo (L) with his wife Liu Xia, at an undisclosed location.

Image copyrightEPA. It has prompted several artworks paying tribute to their love, such as this one by political artist Badiucao, entitled The Patient of China.

Artwork depicting Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia

Image copyrightBADIUCAO

The Australia-based artist also put up a version of the work on a wall on Hosier Lane in Melbourne on Wednesday, calling for Mr Liu’s release.

Street art showing Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia in Melbourne

Image copyrightBADIUCAO

Prominent political cartoonist Rebel Pepper drew and tweeted an alternative take on the photo.

Cartoon referencing Liu Xiaobo

Image copyrightRFA

Chinese cartoonist Xiaoguai also drew inspiration from the same picture and tweeted this image of two candles symbolising the couple.

Cartoon referencing Liu Xiaobo

Image copyrightXIAOGUAI

In 2010, Mr Liu was not allowed to travel to Sweden to receive his Nobel Peace Prize.

The Nobel Peace Prize committee Chairman Thorbjoern Jagland (L) and Kaci Kullmann Five (R) applaud as they stand next to the empty chair of the laureate holding his award at the ceremony for the Nobel Laureate and dissident Liu Xiaobo at the city hall in Oslo on December 10, 2010.

Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES

An image of his empty chair has been inspiration for artists – such as in this work by Badiucao.

Cartoon depicting Liu Xiaobo's empty chair at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 2010

Image copyrightBADIUCAO

Rebel Pepper meanwhile drew a tribute to the chair with Liu Xiaobo’s striped pyjamas.

Cartoon referencing Liu Xiaobo

Image copyrightREBEL PEPPER

In Hong Kong, where activists had been calling for Mr Liu’s release, 17-year-old student Anson Hui told AFP news agency earlier this week that he feared what Mr Liu’s death would mean.

“I feel scared. If we lose Liu Xiaobo, nobody could replace him… If there’s no Liu Xiaobo we can’t unite the whole world to speak out.

“The world will lose a spiritual leader.”

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