Chinese artist unveils painting for Ukraine, ‘which has already won’

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Beijing (AFP) – China has so far refused to condemn its Russian ally’s war, but Chinese painter Huang Rui is convinced Ukraine has already won.

The artist told AFP that he had suspended his other projects to focus on a work on Ukraine after hearing the news of its invasion on February 24.

“Absence of Black Moon” was completed three days later and premiered Friday at an event hosted by the embassies of Ukraine and Poland in Beijing.

The event, titled “Together for Peace”, brought together several diplomats in a country where authorities refuse to use the word “invasion” to describe events in Ukraine.

Huang was one of the pioneers of the Chinese avant-garde movement in the 1980s and a member of the same loose collective as artist Ai Weiwei.

His latest work depicts the yellow and blue Ukrainian flag cut into quarters by red and white lines, meant to represent Russia. In the center of the canvas is a black circle, a reference to the “I Ching” or Book of Changes – an ancient Chinese text.

Huang said he applied the principles of the “I Ching” to the military situation and concluded that Kiev’s victory was inevitable.

“It’s dark, but in fact there is already hope. When you see it, you know that even in the darkest moment, Ukraine has already won,” the artist told AFP .

“At the moment, Ukraine is in the depths of the night. But it is on its own soil; she can work, think, dream.

Many Western embassies in Beijing have displayed Ukrainian colors in recent weeks as a sign of solidarity.

But a poster outside the Canadian embassy with the country’s flag and a message of support on it was defaced with anti-NATO slogans.

China has repeatedly blamed NATO’s “eastward expansion” for heightening tensions between Russia and Ukraine, echoing the Kremlin’s main security grievance, while refusing to criticize the Moscow’s decision to send troops across the border.

President Xi Jinping called for “maximum restraint” to avert a “humanitarian crisis” during a video summit on Tuesday with Frenchman Emmanuel Macron and German Olaf Scholz.

On Friday, Zhanna Leshchynska, charge d’affaires at the Ukrainian embassy in Beijing, was provocative.

“The Ukrainian people will not give up. The whole nation is united in love for our country,” she said.

“Together we will overcome.”

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