A month ahead of its opening in Beijing, an exhibition by Chinese-American artist Hung Liu was canceled after local authorities objected to some of the works and refused to issue import permits for others.
According to Liu, Beijing cultural
authorities have voiced concerns about nine of her works, including the painting Twelve Hairpins of Jinling (2011), which shows 12 schoolgirls in uniforms wearing gas masks, and a 1993 self-portrait based on a photo of her a young, rifle-toting
fighter at the end of China's Cultural Revolution. Another painting that was objected to by authorities is Abacus (1988), which loosely translates to Seven-Up Eight-Down, a phrase in Chinese that describes agitation.
Liu reluctantly agreed
to withdraw the nine works from the exhibition, focusing on more recent works and works that had been exhibited in China before. But that did was not enough to ease the concerns of the authorities in Beijing.
The cancellation comes amidst growing
trade tensions between the United States and China and signifies increased censorship of political art in China.
On August 1 2019, a South Korean exhibition of drawings and art films was cancelled at the Huam-Garok gallery due to supposed indecency .
Rebecca Goyette's Forever Animal solo exhibition, described by the artist as being about sexual
sovereignty, pleasure and healing through connection includes feminist depictions of women, nudity and sexuality.
According to Goyette, she had collaborated with Seoul-based curator Yeu Ryang Choi of Yeu & Me since 2017 and together agreed to
show her works to a public South Korean audience at Huam-Garok. Whilst the gallery managers had agreed to show the works, the gallery owner cancelled the show on alleged indecency grounds.
In response to viewing the works, Goyette explains that
the owner reacted very negatively and censored my show, stating it was bad for kids.
Goyette states that Yeu Ryang Choi has proceeded with a lawsuit against the gallery on the grounds of contract breach.
The San Francisco Board of Education voted this week to cover up a suite of controversial 1930's murals at George Washington High School, reversing an earlier decision to spend $600,000 to destroy them by painting them over.
The murals, The Life of
Washington , were created by the Russian emigre artist Victor Arnautoff as part of a New Deal art initiative and depict episodes from the life of George Washington. A few people have been offended by three of the 13 murals in the cycle for including
depictions of enslaved African-Americans working at Washington's Mount Vernon property, and also violent images of Native Americans.
In Tuesday's vote, the board members voted 4--3 in favor of covering up the murals, frustrating both those who'd
campaigned for outright destruction, and those who'd campaigned for their preservation.
While it is a step in the right direction to take permanent destruction off the table, we will continue to strongly oppose spending $815,000 to permanently
wall off the murals so nobody has the choice to see them or learn from them, said Jon Golinger, the executive director of the Coalition to Protect Public Art, an organization created to advocate for the murals' preservation, to the New York Times .
A section of a major art festival, Aichi Triennale 2019, in central Japan featuring a statue symbolizing wartime comfort women shut down on Saturday following protests, the organizer said.
The protesters were taking easy offence at the Statue
of a Girl of Peace . This depicted a Korean comfort women, or ianfu in Japanese. The term is a euphemism for the women, including Koreans, who provided sex, generally against their will, for Japanese troops before and during World War II.
Aichi Gov. Hideaki Omura, who heads the organizing committee, told a news conference that there are growing worries about safely managing the Aichi Triennale 2019 as it had received a number of threatening emails, phone calls and faxes. One of the faxes it received read:
I will bring a gasoline container to the museum.
The statue of the girl was part of an exhibit in the art festival's section titled After Freedom of Expression? Most of the artwork on display in that section could not be displayed in
Japan in the past due to censorship or self-censorship, the exhibitor said.
Facebook has agreed to settle a years-long legal battle with a French teacher who sued after the social media giant shuttered his account when he posted a renowned 19th-century painting that features a woman's genitals.
The dispute dates to 2011, when
the teacher, Frederic Durand, ran foul of Facebook's censorship of nude images after posting a link that include a thumbnail image of L'Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World), an 1866 painting by the realist painter Gustave Courbet.
Durand argued that Facebook was infringing on his freedom of expression. He sought 20,000 euro in damages and initially won his case in a Paris court but a higher court overturned the ruling in March 2018.
Durand had been preparing an appeal, but in a statement to AFP, his lawyer Stephane Cottineau said a deal had been reached for Facebook to make an unspecified donation to a French street art association called Le MUR (The WALL).
The Saatchi Gallery in London has censored works featuring an Islamic declaration of faith after complaints from Muslim visitors who claimed the artworks were blasphemous.
The Gallery is hosting an exhibition of new material by the artist SKU
featuring a variety of works. However, it decided to censor the two 'offending' paintings that incorporated the text of the shahada, juxtaposed with images of a partially nude women with the background of a stylised US flag .
SKU suggested that
the works should remain on the gallery wall but be covered up with sheets. He told the Sunday Times that it seemed a respectful solution that enables a debate about freedom of expression versus the perceived right not to be offended.
Gallery told the newspaper it fully supported freedom of artistic expression ...[BUT]... The gallery also recognises the sincerity of the complaints made against these works and supported the artist's decision to cover them until the end of
Offsite Comment: We must have the right to blaspheme against Islam
The director of Poland's National Museum of Culture took it on himself to take down a classic 1975 artwork on the grounds that it might irritate sensitive young people.
Consumer Art or Body Art is a video by Natalia Lach-Lachowicz, who goes by the
name Natalia LL, showing a bare-shouldered woman eating a banana in a rather suggestive fashion.
The director also removed was a 2005 video by Katarzyna Kozyra that showed a woman holding a leash attached to two men dressed as dogs on all fours.
Certain topics related to gender shouldn't be explicitly shown,
However the censorship by Museum Director Jerzy Miziolek was widely ridiculed. Many took to Instagram and other
platforms to post photos of themselves eating bananas, including another prominent Polish artist, photographer Sylwia Kowalczyk, who posted:
This should not happen to any artist, male or female, Kowalczyk told CNN .
Natalia Lach-Lachowicz is one of the icons of the Polish contemporary art and has her place in art history already.
Hundreds of people also gathered to eat bananas outside Poland's national gallery in Warsaw on Monday to protest the
Responding to this public pressure Miziolek said that he would reinstate the Consumer Art exhibit -- but only for another week, when the museum begins a renovation project. Whether Consumer Art would return after the renovations are
complete remained unclear.
Miziolek was appointed by the right-wing Law and Justice (PiS) government's Ministry of Culture. The ministry has consistently cut funding for the arts and fired arts staff who do not follow the party's line. However the
ministry denied it was involved in the decision to remove this artwork.
An art exhibit that aimed to spark conversation about violence against women by showing Barbie dolls being abused has been moved out of a shop window.
A few complaints were made about the collection, named Girls World , which were displayed
in a Middlesbrough shopping centre in full view of children.
The work showed pictures of the children's toy being kicked by boyfriend Ken, giving birth to an unwanted child, and hanging herself from a tree. It was hoped the display, created by
artist Lidia Lidia, would raise awareness of violence against females.
The exhibition was first put up on April 10 and was due to run for a fortnight before being removed from the front window on April 18. The exhibition has now been moved to the
back of the gallery, in Middlesbrough, where it will remain until May 11.
In a statement, Lidia Lidia thanked the co-directors of the Pineapple Black galler for showing the 'somewhat controversial piece and apologised to people who found her work
uncomfortable. She added:
I am totally aware that my work is provocative and sometimes disturbing but I strongly believe that art nowadays is one of the most powerful tools for shaping a fair and equal society.
The Lahore High Court in Pakistan is hearing a petition to remove a huge sculpture of Satan that is frightening children outside the Lahore Museum, Daily Pakistan reported.
Ambreen Qureshi, the petitioner, told the court:
This sculpture has nothing to do with our culture whereas the purpose of a museum is to preserve our history and culture.
The 20-foot-high, animal-man hybrid sculpture by Irtbaatul Hassan, a student at Punjab
University of Arts and Design, was placed on the grounds of Lahore Museum on 11 January as part of an outdoor statue exhibition. Hassan's sculpture was intended to highlight the differences between man and animals, which are incapable of self-reflection,
according to The News on Sunday.
The controversial sculpture has already been covered up with cloth and taken away, it said.
A McJesus Sculpture Has Provoked Violent Protests in Israel. The gallery is now fending off government censorship as well as the artist's own request to remove the work in solidarity with a pro-Palestinian boycott of Israel.
Jani Leinonen's McJesus
(2015) has become the subject of violent protests at Israel's Haifa Museum of Art. the Rev. Archimandrite Agapious Abu Sa'ada of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archeparchy of Acre told Haaretz:
We denounce the
exhibition and the injury to the holiest symbol of Christianity by an institution that is supposed to serve citizens of all religions,
Hundreds of Arab Christians were on hand Friday to protest the controversial work, while police
mobilized to prevent them from entering the museum and removing the work by force. Three policemen were injured by protesters throwing stones, while officers Officers, meanwhile, used tear gas and stun grenades to clear the crowd, according to the
The demonstration followed a letter on Thursday from Israeli culture minister Miri Regev calling for the work to be removed and threatening to revoke the museum's government funding.
McJesus was installed in September as part
of the exhibition Sacred Good, which looks at religion and faith through the lens of consumerism. The museum describes the piece as a way to address the collaboration between religious systems and the consumer culture.
So far, the museum has
refused to take the work off display, instead meeting with church leaders and officials from the Haifa Municipality and determining that the most appropriate response to is to hang a sign at the exhibition entrance warning visitors of potentially