"Hall Of Fame" Depicts Corrupt Officals
Zhang Bingjian has installed thousands of portraits of officials convicted of corruption in a hall of shame to help increase public awareness about the problem.
Zhang's "hall of fame" is based the concept on the wall-lined portraits of basketball legends in the NBA Hall of Fame in the United States.
These portraits are painted by a team of artists in Dafen village in southern China. The village is known for its mass-produced copycats of famous western oil paintings.
Zhang's inspiration for the project came when he discovered the depth of the corruption in China and he thought it is important to record that corruption in art.
The stranglehold on power by Communist Party officials, particularly at a local level, and the lack of an independent judiciary and free media, have proved to be a hotbed for the growth of corruption.
More recently, the director of China's Football Association, Xie Yalong, was sentenced to 10 and a half years in prison for taking bribes.
He's just one of the many Chinese corrupt officials at various levels.
Official figures available from the National Bureau of Statistics show that over 3-thousand Chinese officials were investigated for the misappropriation of public funds in 2010.
Although official numbers of corruption cases and corrupt officials have come down in recent years, China remains one of the many countries with bad anti-corruption performances.
Zhang Bingjian's project is still ongoing and dozens of new portraits of corrupt officials are painted and framed in his studio every three months.
For now the "hall of fame" appears to be a project without an end in sight.
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- Evening News, May 22, 2013