Tibetan self-immolators inspire Chinese painter
BEIJING (AFP) - Stacked up in Mr Liu Yi's studio dozens of China's most sensitive subjects stare out from thick black-and-white oil paintings, from victims of Tiananmen Square to Tibetans who have set themselves on fire.
Mr Liu, 50, is a rare example of a member of China's Han ethnic majority taking up the Tibetan cause - a project that has finally brought the authorities to his door.
More than 100 Tibetans have set themselves alight, around 90 dying, to protest against what many call Beijing's oppressive rule, but most Han Chinese accept the government's stance that it has brought development and is combating tragic acts of violence.
"What they want is simply freedom of religion, of faith, and respect," said Mr Liu, in a spare brick-walled studio at his home in an artists' community in eastern Beijing.