China

Liu Xiaobo: The Chinese dissident memorialised in social art

Badiucao's latest cartoon commemorating Liu Xiaobo's death, called Final Freedom Image copyright Badiucao
Image caption Artist Badiucao's cartoon commemorating Liu Xiaobo's death, called Final Freedom

Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo was an inspiring figure for a new generation of Chinese pro-democracy activists and his death is being remembered by political artists.

Many activists saw him as a godfather for their cause, and have paid tribute to a man who was branded a criminal by Chinese authorities for his activism and jailed several times for "subversion".

One source of inspiration was the well-documented love between Liu Xiaobo and his wife, Liu Xia, who has also been placed under house arrest.

This image of them, which was circulated recently by their activist friends, particularly resounded with many.

Image copyright EPA

It has prompted several artworks paying tribute to their love, such as this one by political artist Badiucao, entitled The Patient of China.

Image copyright Badiucao

The Australia-based artist also put up a version of the work on a wall on Hosier Lane in Melbourne on Wednesday, calling for Mr Liu's release.

Image copyright Badiucao

Prominent political cartoonist Rebel Pepper drew and tweeted an alternative take on the photo.

Image copyright RFA

Chinese cartoonist Xiaoguai also drew inspiration from the same picture and tweeted this image of two candles symbolising the couple.

Image copyright Xiaoguai

In 2010, Mr Liu was not allowed to travel to Sweden to receive his Nobel Peace Prize.

Image copyright Getty Images

An image of his empty chair has been inspiration for artists - such as in this work by Badiucao.

Image copyright Badiucao

Rebel Pepper meanwhile drew a tribute to the chair with Liu Xiaobo's striped pyjamas.

Image copyright Rebel Pepper

In Hong Kong, where activists had been calling for Mr Liu's release, 17-year-old student Anson Hui told AFP news agency earlier this week that he feared what Mr Liu's death would mean.

"I feel scared. If we lose Liu Xiaobo, nobody could replace him... If there's no Liu Xiaobo we can't unite the whole world to speak out.

"The world will lose a spiritual leader."

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