Art of memory, act of survival, or vice versa

“Anjur (fig fruit)—is one of my favorite fruits! It always reminds me of my home and my beloved father! I ate my first fig fruit from my family’s orchard many many decades ago… now it all becomes memory!”
Aziz Isa Elkun traveled through Central Asia and the taste of anjur opened up a portal to his past, however, this past sweetness was immediately cancelled by the brutal present. Just several hundred kilometers away across China’s border, his family’s whereabouts is unknown.

My heart is like a burning forest inside

Sübhi’s poem depicts a Uyghur woman publicly experiencing cultural aggression from a group of ethnic Han men. At the moment, the state’s purge and cultural genocide of Uyghurs is working in Han men’s favor, allowing them to reach Uyghur women previously unattainable to them, resulting in many involuntary inter-ethnic marriages.

Tomato Shirt

Juxkun, a concerned friend of Xinjiang, also designed this T-shirt to address the issue of China’s resource extraction in Xinjiang. Besides the cotton and oil industries, Xinjiang produces more than 70% of China’s tomatoes and a significant portion of canned and processed tomatoes for export into the global economy, for example Heinz tomato ketchup.

Juxkun’s Honest Labeling of Xinjiang Products

After seeing that Muji not only sources Xinjiang cotton but also brazenly advertises it, Juxkun, a concerned friend of Xinjiang, took to action. He customized a stamp from a local stationery store including a QR code link to a WSJ article about Xinjiang forced labor, then he stamped it onto the Muji shirt tags in hope of educating the consumers about the stories behind the Muji shirt.

Shimizu Tomomi’s Art Testimony

Artist Shimizu Tomomi (清水ともみ) rendered Mihrigul Tursun‘s testimony given at US Congressional hearing in Manga form. Mihrigul’s testimony gave accounts of various torture and gender based violence inside one of the ‘re-education camps’ in Xinjiang. It is never easy to gather the courage to speak on the trauma and inhumane treatment from an unjust system, especially for Uyghurs; this could mean retaliation to their families from the Chinese government.