Who remembers the last time they were told what they were not allowed to view? When you were living in your parent’s house before you turned 18? Most people may believe that is true, that their parents were the last people who had control over what they watched but in fact our governments’ can control lots of what we are exposed to. In the United States, different films, television shows, and art works are mostly considered to be “controversial” instead of being flat out banned although this is not the case in China.
China often times censors anything that they deem as inappropriate. Censorship occurs when an individual or a group of individuals choose to keep the majority of a group of people from being allowed to view something that they see as obscene or unacceptable.
Zhao Bandi, a famed Chinese realist painter, was given the opportunity to have a solo exhibition for over two months in the Ullens Center for Contempory Art, a leading Chinese contemporary art institution. Zhao’s art work often is a reflection of what China is like or at least how he sees it from his perspective. Two of Bandi’s works entitled “Scenery with Cameras” (2015) and “Night View” (2015) were censored by the government and were not allowed to be a part of the exhibit. The painting entitled “Scenery with Cameras” is meant to illustrate how the government uses its resources to watch its country at all times. The cameras are semi hidden in what appears to be a park or a bush filled shrub area which has cameras facing in several different directions. The second painting entitled “Night View” may perhaps illustrate a single viewpoint from one of the cameras. We can see a slight open area through the bushes in which we can see a Chinese neon set of lights atop a building. This indicates that the photo is meant to probably take place in an area of China. There is no escaping being watched. This scares China officials because they are currently being seen as being one of the largest camera surveillance nations. The Chinese government does not want its people to think about how they are being watched. For many people, when things are not constantly shown in their face, they have no need to worry about it.
This idea of mass surveillance is a fear in many countries, including the United States, although the United States often times is less worried about a straight up revolt that will come from viewing certain artwork. Although the painting does not specifically state any direct message of China being a type of Big Brother, China would rather flat out conceal this photo to keep people’s imaginations from running wild. I believe that censorship definitely is a hard thing to try to decide upon and define. I understand when parents choose to censor their children froma. Certain type of movie or music, maybe even when you are part of a religious group and they ask you not to participate in a. Certain activity. But who should really get a say in what is right and wrong for an entire country to see? When do we put a stop to censorship?