Kathleen Gillis

I made the unrealistic, impossible decision to become an artist when I was twelve and went to work training myself, first, to become a commercial artist, then, an exhibiting artist and art teacher. As I produced work I kept learning. Each theme that I explored was preparing me for what would come next. Several years of teaching and exhibiting followed.

In a park one day I learned Falun Gong exercises and realized, "This is prehistoric! I've seen these poses many times in prehistoric images". When I started to practice Falun Gong, then the learning really began! But one year later Falun Gong was demonized and persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party. Faced with this, I thought, "These are my fellow practitioners. What kind of artist would I be if I didn't do everything possible to document this?"

But to do that I had to start learning all over again. My skills, understanding, techniques and materials were inadequate. Our images had to be understandable, realistic and accessible to all, in other words, more traditional. From 1993 to 2016 all my paintings were created for "The Art of Zhen Shan Ren International Exhibition Collection". To exhibit these works we faced every kind of interference imaginable. There were backroom manipulations, intimidation, unexplained cancellations, bomb threats, and attempted invasions. Through this, and the tears of viewers, I discovered the true power of art and the significance of our roles as artists.

Now the Zhen Shan Ren collection stays safe in New York State while copies on canvas travel the world. There is much more coming, more art, more artists, more beauty and more perfection.his page is currently under construction.

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