Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chi-comms try to take down US mural

"Mural draws fire from China," announces the headline in this article by

The story so far: An American of Chinese ancestry David Lin (who grew up in Taiwan before coming to the US in the 1970s), hired Taiwanese artist Chao Tsung-song to paint a 10-foot-by-100-foot mural last month on the side of a building that Lin owns in Corvallis, Oregon, USA. Lin is is renovating the space for a restaurant and has rechristened the building Tibet House; see images of the mural here.

According to the article,  "In vivid colors, the painting depicts riot police beating Tibetan demonstrators, Buddhist monks setting themselves on fire to protest Chinese rule and images of Taiwan as a bulwark of freedom."

Forgetting that he was assigned to represent a brutal dictatorship in a free nation and not back in China, the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco got wind of this mural (I wonder how?) and then formally fired off a letter to Corvallis Mayor Julie Manning on September 8 complaining  about the mural’s content and asking for the Mayor to help China have the mural removed.

It gets better; in an implied threat of sorts, the letter "goes on to note the strong economic and cultural ties between China and Oregon and suggests that Corvallis would benefit from cooperating with the consulate’s request.
“To avoid our precious friendship from being tainted by so-called ‘Tibet independence’ and ‘Taiwan independence,’ we sincerely hope you can understand our concerns and adopt effective measures to stop the activities advocating ‘Tibet independence’ and ‘Taiwan independence’ in Corvallis,” the letter states.
On September 20, Mayor Manning responded and in-between the lines reminded the Chinese consulate that Oregon was in the USA and not China, when Manning told the consulate:“As you are aware, the First Amendment of the United States’ Constitution guarantees freedom of speech in this country, and this includes freedom of artistic expression.”

Building owner David Lin has no plans to remove a mural promoting independence for Tibet and Taiwan, despite pressure from the Chinese government. (Andy Cripe | Corvallis Gazette-Times)
Clearly the Chinese Consulate was not aware of what the Mayor was talking about and subsequently two Chinese officials, Vice Consul "Guido" Zhang Hao and Deputy Consul General "Carmine" Song Ruan went up to Oregon and met with Manning and another city official. While munching on their cannoli, they expressed "their concern and the concern of the Chinese government about the mural on Mr. Lin’s building.” They also let the mayor know that “They viewed the message as political propaganda.”

Pardon me while I almost choke... the Chi Comms are complaining about "political propaganda"? That's like Bill Clinton complaining that there's "too many ladies in the audience."

The mayor also "had a conversation with them about the U.S. Constitution,” before the two suits headed back down to Shaky Town to file their report with their capo. On the way there they used their Ipad ripoffs to Google US Constitution and see what the heck the Mayor was talking about. Because they didn't put the search term in quotes, I suspect that their report will note some shock and alarm that Manning was possibly threatening China with naval action using the US Navy's oldest commissioned warship.

I tried to reach someone at the Chinese Consulate today, but couldn't get anyone to call me back, or even understand why I was calling, although I may have accidentally ordered information on how to open a Dollar Store.

When Ron Wyden, who is Oregon's senior Senator, heard about this, he put down his chai tea and fired off a beautiful letter to Chinese Ambassador Zhang Yesui ; according to the Gazette-Times:
“I am writing to express my deep displeasure and concern with these actions,” Wyden wrote in his letter to Zhang, the highest-ranking Chinese official in the United States.
He called the Chinese tactics “a grave affront” and went on to lecture Zhang on the First Amendment’s guarantee of free expression, as well as freedom of religion and the press and the right of peaceful assembly.
“While these rights may not be respected in China, they are values that all Americans hold dear,” Wyden noted. “Any attempt by your government to suppress these rights is unacceptable and must not be repeated.”
Also according to the story, subsequently "members of Oregon’s congressional delegation stepped into the fight. Rep. Peter DeFazio, whose district includes Corvallis, blasted China in a speech on the House floor, and Sen. Jeff Merkley issued a short statement applauding Manning and Lin for sticking to their guns."

I contacted the Chinese Embassy today for comments on the letter from Sen. Wyden, but was unable to gather any more information, although I was reassured that my Family Dollar franchise information would be sent to me as soon as possible. I then asked what the difference was between a Dollar Store and a Family Dollar store, as I thought that I had ordered info on the former, not the latter. The nice lady on the phone told me that she "couldn't comment on the letter," so I hung up.

While the story has gone viral, it has been curiously ignored so far by both the New York Times and The Washington Post, which I am sure will now result in another Ann Coulter best-seller. I am also told that USS Constitution's crew has noted a large increase in Chinese visitors over the last few days.

And Oh Yeah... for the ChiComms: Fuck you.

Art Scam Alert!

This is a scam - avoid dealing with this moron:
From: Robert Hallins <sgtrobhallins@hotmail.com>
Date: September 18, 2012 12:35:33 AM EDT
On Sep 17, 2012, at 1:28 AM, Robert Hallins wrote:
Hi there,
My name is Robert,im from hawaii,was browsing through the internet and my eyes caught this particular work("The Life Force Rests in the Liver",),will like to have it for my new apartment probably this month.please let me know if the piece is available and if yes let me have the detailed price and more information about it. i will be waiting to read from you.Regards.

For tomorrow

Wanna know how to tell it apart? Then check out this panel of curators, academics, artists and critics:

1. John James Anderson, Art Critic for the Washington City Paper, Egghead Professor and a really good Artist

2. Bill Dunlap, Artist, Critic for WETA Around Town show, Curator

3. Harriet Lesser, Curator, Strathmore Center for the Arts and Artist

4. Michael O'Sullivan, Visual Arts and Film Critic for the Washington Post

P.S. Please bring your own examples too!

September 19, 2012 7-8:30 p.m.
Hillyer International Art and Artists
9 Hillyer Court
Washington DC 20008
Free and Open to All