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Subject: Painter inspired by gargoyles

Written By: Philip Eno on 05/22/11 at 2:01 am

A Chinese painter has held an exhibition of paintings of crooked officials after being inspired by British medieval craftsman who turned taxmen into gargoyles.

Zhang Bingjian Lu said he had been fascinated when he read how medieval gargoyles had usually been modelled on tax men and corrupt officials from the time.

He said: "Then when I heard in 2009 that more than 3,000 government officials had been prosecuted in a single year, I decided to make sure that their images too were immortalised for further generations.

"So far I have finished more than 600 paintings of the most famous corrupt officials and as most of the corruption was for money I decided to paint the pictures in the same colour as the Chinese money the yen.

"I got the photos from visiting court or sometimes news reports, some did escape though because there was no picture available."

At the edge of the paintings, he writes the name, title and crime they committed and the the sentences they got, from "jail for 10 years" through to the "death penalty".

The exhibition has now opened featuring 2,000 of the paintings at the artists home village of Dafen near Shenzhen city, in Guangdong province, southeastern China.

He added: "I want to make people see clearly the faces of the officials that were distorted by money and power."

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