Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement graffiti greets Chinese tourists in London | Taiwan News

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — A Chinese dissident group commissioned a graffiti artist to create this work paying homage to Taiwan’s Sunflower Movement as a means to counter Chinese Communist Party (CCP) propaganda that had been scrawled in London.

In early August works by many artists were covered up with white paint on a nearly 100-meter-long wall on London’s Brick Lane and were replaced with red paint proclaiming the 12 “core socialist values” associated with Chinese leader Xi Jinping (習近平). In anticipation of the flood of Chinese tourists arriving in London during the Mid-Autumn Festival and China’s National Day, members of the group China Deviants (CD) commissioned a British artist to create murals presenting images of resistance such as China’s White Paper Movement and Taiwan’s Sunflower Student Movement on the wall, reported CNA.

CD member Gonki, who is about 35 years old, and Kyle, who is nearly 30 years old and were born in China, made a rare appearance in Brick Lane for an interview with the news agency on Sept. 29, the day the works were completed.

Gonki said that he had been involved in many political actions and has long been “under surveillance,” so whether or not he shows his face doesn’t make a difference.

Taiwan's Sunflower Movement graffiti greets Chinese tourists in London
7th Pencil creating piece honoring the Sunflower Movement. (CNA photo)

Kyle, on the other hand, said he no longer wants to live in fear and is forced to hide. He said that he is “close to giving up Chinese citizenship.”

Invited by CD, the British graffiti artist 7th Pencil spent about four hours on Sept. 29 to complete murals covering topics such as the Tiananmen Square Massacre, the 2022 White Paper Movement, Hong Kong’s 2014 Umbrella Movement, Taiwan’s 2014 Sunflower Student Movement and a creation that pays tribute to the ongoing MeToo Movement. In addition to the obvious elements such as sunflowers, the chained female figure is a metaphor for the “Goddess of Democracy” seen during the Tiananmen Square protests, as well as the pursuit of gender equality, said the artist.

7th Pencil admitted to the news agency that although her artwork often touches on issues such as women’s rights and mental health, which inevitably carry political implications, she rarely gets involved in political controversies. However, in order to safeguard democracy, she decided to participate in CD’s project.

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