Three art works among an exhibition featuring images from dozens of countries were withdrawn from an art gallery on the campus of the Australian National University after Chinese students complained about “racial discrimination” and “humiliation of China.”
Three works by artist Luke Cornish featuring Chinese currency bearing the altered images of Mao Zedong and Xi Jinping were removed from the exhibition following the complaints.
The exhibition “Don’t Shoot the Messenger” by Luke Cornish, running from March 12 to April 15 at the aMBUSH Gallery, in the Kambri district of Australian National University, “challenges viewers with artworks including an upside-down figure of Christ on a cross, and paper currency from dozens of different countries adorned with confronting images,” Canberra Times reported, March 15.
Three art works were removed from the exhibition after complaints by Chinese students, according to Hong Kong based Chinese language media source The Stand News, reporting March 23.
One of the works, featuring batman replacing the visage of Mao Zedong on the Renminbi 10 note was removed after complaints, March 18.
Another two, including one featuring Winnie the Pooh strangling his friend Tigger, apparently in reference to the Chinese regime’s treatment of the Uighur ethnic group, and another featuring the image of Mao Zedong in reference to the “social credit” system in the communist party ruled state were also removed from the exhibit.
According to The Stand News, Cornish apologized for possible racial perceptions surrounding the piece “Batman,” whose purpose was to criticize the regime, and satirize perceptions of the origins of COVID-19 and conspiracy theories related to its origins, the artist said.
But Luke Cornish refused to apologize for the other two works, and did not agree with the aMBUSH gallery in withdrawing the pieces, saying the theme of the exhibition is to criticize governments of various countries for treating people badly, including the government of China.
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