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Buddha's Tears.
Rosendale, New York:: Women's Studio Workshop,, 2015.. Edition of 50. 20.75 x 46.5 cm; 13 pages. Accordion. Paper: Somerset Book 175 g. Typefaces: Helvetica and Heiti. Silkscreen, letterpress, and digitally printed. Bound in cloth-covered boards. Signed and numbered. WSW: "Buddha's Tears exposes the hidden story of organ harvesting in China from prisoners of conscience, such as Falun Gong practitioners. Statistical information is juxtaposed with poetic rendering of a legend of a statue of Buddha, who weeps in times of crisis. Each page is filled with dates, graphs, maps, drawings, and stories, concluding with a sutured image of China, a symbol of healing. The accordion pages unravel to form a long scroll, a traditional form of storytelling to lay out the facts of China's cruelty." Chelsea Campbell, "Still Beating: Wei Jane Chir's Buddha's Tears": "Award-winning investigative journalist Ethan Gutmann estimates that in China, 64,000 prisoners practicing Falun Gong may have been killed for their organs between 2000 and 2008. Falun Gong practitioners have been persecuted for their spirituality and arrested as prisoners of conscience since 1999 for their direct opposition to the state's communist ideology. Only recently, through detective work by journalists and human rights activists, have details of China's illegal transplanting practices come to light. "Artist's Book resident Wei Jane Chir came to WSW to edition her artist's book Buddha's Tears, about China's decades-long history of organ harvesting. As a practitioner of Falun Gong herself, she's using her tools as an artist to make this information reach a wider audience. "The cover of Buddha's Tears is complex and mysterious, mirroring the very narrative inside. Twenty different colors of ink combine to make the title almost invisible, hidden much like the story of organ harvesting has been for years. In certain lights and angles, the oranges and browns of the cover melt into a sea of blue with the golden title floating in the center. "Wei Jane's title comes from the legend of a Buddha statue in China that, in times of crisis, weeps. By referencing it, Wei Jane posits that the undisclosed horror of organ harvesting brings the Buddha to tears. The book opens on a pair of downcast eyes, then a bronze ocean, then a somber quote to prepare the viewer for the story about to unfold. "Buddha's Tears thirteen tryptic pages are dense with visual and textual information. Combining digitally- and screen-printed imagery, each page is filled with the history of Falun Gong, its persecution, and the legal cases brought against China. Graphs and tables of transplant numbers are paired with meditating Falun Gong practitioners; harvesting processes broken down in hand-drawn images sit beside covers of books and documentaries on organ harvesting. Wei Jane is an artist-meets-journalist, providing facts and charts on the subject while injecting her own artistic vision throughout. "The cover of Buddha's Tears is wrapped in silk, the accordion-bound pages unraveling to form a long scroll. Using the materials traditionally used in ancient Chinese storytelling, Wei Jane ironically lays out the facts of China's contemporary cruelty. This sense of irony is reflected in the book's final image: a bright red China stitched together with black thread. Wei Jane's niece, a surgeon, taught Wei Jane how to do a surgical stitch over the silkscreened China.
      [Bookseller: Vamp & Tramp, Booksellers, LLC]
Last Found On: 2016-02-24           Check availability:      Biblio    

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