"Ugly Babies": Art of jailed Nobel-winner Liu's wife

Wed Nov 9, 2011 12:31pm EST
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By Chine Labb

PARIS (Reuters) - Chinese artist Liu Xia never expected her disturbing photographs to be shown beyond the walls of her Beijing apartment. In China, she is a forbidden artist, living in the shadow of her jailed husband, 2010 Nobel Peace Prize winner Liu Xiaobo.

For the first time, 26 of her photos, spirited out of China, are being exhibited in a small showroom on the outskirts of Paris.

In summer 2010, Guy Sorman, a French author and economist who visited her many times, persuaded the quiet woman to opt for a public viewing abroad.

Despite being a world premiere, the show, which has been open for more than two weeks in a relatively obscure showroom in the western Paris suburb of Boulogne-Billancourt, has gone almost unnoticed by the general public.

Sorman attributes the absence of a higher-profile premiere to France's complicated relationship with China.

After threatening to boycott the opening ceremony of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing over a crackdown in Tibet, French president Nicolas Sarkozy has spent years trying to mend diplomatic relations with China.


Outside of China, Liu Xia is mostly known as Liu Xiaobo's wife.   Continued...

<p>Liu Xia, the wife of Chinese dissident Liu Xiaobo, holds a photo of Liu Xiaobo during an interview in Beijing October 3, 2010. REUTERS/Petar Kujundzic</p>