Laneway shrine for Chinese dissident

A shrine has appeared at the CBD’s famous street art laneway, Hosier Lane, in memory of the late Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo.

Liu Xiaobo was an outspoken pro-democracy and human right activist and the recipient of the 2010 Nobel Peace Prize, which he did not receive in person due to his imprisonment by the Chinese government.

Melbourne-based Chinese political artist Badiucao installed two artworks in Hosier Lane when Mr Liu was in his final hours of his life on July 12. Mr Liu died in prison the next day.

The two human-sized pictures depict Mr Liu in prisoner uniforms and his wife Liu Xia with the words “Free Liu Xiaobo” and “R.I.P. Liu Xiaobo”.

Flowers and candles, many with notes in Chinese, have been laid in the laneway as tributes to Mr Liu.

Badiucao called the artworks a “commemorative poster campaign” for Liu Xiaobo.

“The sadness of Xiaobo’s passing and anger with the ruthless treatment from authorities has led me to continue the ‘posters for Xiaobo’ campaign and appeal to society for help,” Badiucao said.

Badiucao said he initially intended the artworks for self-expression, but people in Melbourne had also paid homage to Mr Liu in their own way.

“The entire process is very simple ­– seek out a legal and local graffiti site and put up posters for Mr Liu Xiaobo,” the artist said.

“But the next day I discovered Melbourne residents had filled the alley with flowers. In one evening what began as one poster in the city centre had turned into a corner for investing support and thoughts.”

Badiucao has later pasted another artwork on the Hosier Lane wall, featuring Mr Liu in the iconic Hokusai tsunami painting and echoing NGV’s latest exhibition.

The same Liu Xiaobo artworks by Badiucao have also been installed at Sydney University’s Graffiti Tunnel.

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