Art against fur at Renmin University
Zhang Qian's work: "Please, don't take off my clothes." (Photo source:
BEIJING, Sept. 21 (Xinhuanet) -- A student anti-fur art
exhibition that aims to educate young people in China, one of the world's
biggest fur exporters, that the wearing of fur is cruel and unnecessary
opened Friday at the Renmin University of China.
The exhibition of
works from the Design Against Fur (DAF) competition, co-organized by Swiss
Animal Protection, the Fur Free Alliance and the World Society for the
Protection of Animals, attracted 12,352 entries from university students all
over the country.
"What impressed me most was that students came up
with more striking ideas this year," said Zhang Yang, DAF'S Chinese regional
"We cannot stop rich people from buying fur, but I hope we
can at least change the minds of university students, who are potential
buyers, from doing this in the future," said Zhang.
Animals killed for fashion include rabbits, foxes,
cats and dogs. Thousands of animals are killed for their fur in China each
year, as there are no animal welfare laws.
The rabbit is the theme
for the competition this year.
"To make one fur coat, people have to
kill 30-40 rabbits," Zhang said. "But many people are not aware of the fact
that the rabbit is also a victim of fashion."
He said the way rabbits
are skinned to retrieve a prefect cut is bloody and inhuman, and he suggests
using artificial fur to spare animals from cruelty.
Five students won
prizes in four different categories including posters, T-shirts, fine art
and multi-media items.
Zhang Qian, 20, a student with the Shanghai Film Art Academy, won the
Most Popular award for her work titled "Please, don't take off my clothes,"
which depicts a bunny begging not to be skinned. She also won a ticket to
Switzerland for a cultural exchange trip next month.
Zhang said she
was stunned when they told her the good news.
"My work is not as
eye-catching as the others," she said. "Mine is simple and straightforward
and sends out a message from a poor bunny."
Zhang admitted that she
once bought a fur coat because it was warm.
"But now if I spot
someone wearing a fur coat or shawl, I will tell them 'Hey, this is not
cool. You are killing animals.'"
She confesses that she once
accidentally killed her pet bunny. "I had one a few years ago. It was so
stinky that I gave it a shower," she said. "After drying its fur with a hair
dryer, it looked better, and I took it to bed with me that night." But it
later got sick and died.
Liu Lei, 23, who just graduated from Beijing
Institute of Fashion Technology, won first place for his multi-media work
titled "If you ever had a rabbit," which tells the story of a bunny being
caught, stripped down, then turned into a shawl.
"I never thought
wearing fur was fashion," he told the Global Times. "Quite the opposite, I
think it is tasteless."
When asked how to capture the attention of
fashion fans with the message that wearing fur is cruel and unnecessary, his
answer is "to do it in a general way."
"It is not necessary to show
people how bloody and violent the behavior is," he said. "It is not
creative, it is stereotyped."
Blood and violence are in many works. One titled "Know what you're paying
for," depicts a knife-like credit card cutting a rabbit's head apart.
Mark Rissi, a Swiss movie director and writer who attended the opening
ceremony of the exhibition, said he was impressed by the creativity and
enthusiasm of the participants.
"For two years in a row the
international prize has been awarded to Chinese students," he said. "That is
quite a success story!"
"Animals have a right to be treated
respectfully," he added. "We are looking forward to the passing of the
animal welfare law that has been drafted (in China)."
industry is blamed for the death of millions of animals every year. It is
estimated that one animal is killed for fur each second worldwide.
(Source: Global Times)