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With financial support from the Fundamental Rights and Citizenship Programme of the European Union

Fondi Otto per Mille della Chiesa Evangelica Valdese

With financial support by Society Integration Foundation (SIF)


“Gao Xingjian, researching for no restrictions for no burdens”, Cheng Giuseppe Chen

Picture 1 of 5


Of course I’m not Gao Xingjian :). My idea is to portray the experiences of an immigrant, his reasoning, hopes and difficulties. I hope you enjoy my work.


Hi, my name is Giuseppe and I was born in Rome, where I still live. Both my parents are Chinese, so I’m Chinese too. I’m 17 and I’m attending high school at the Liceo Scientifico Augusto Righi. I love drawing and I would like to be a cartoonist in Japan.

Page 1

1. I’m Gao Xingjian, and I’m in the office of an officer.

2. Why did you accuse my work of misleading young people?

3. Art is an individual need, you cannot restrict my freedom of expression! / …

4. Your attitude is antisocial. You are putting your own interest before that of the country. / Humanism and communism are incompatible.

5. This makes no sense…! / This conversation is over. / Please go away.

Page 2

1. Come on, do something! / You are my editor, why can’t you publish my work?

2. I’m sorry, I can’t do anything… don’t call me anymore, ok?

3. After this conversation the guards arrived…

4. And set fire to my manuscripts…

Page 3

1. Since I started studying French at the Foreign Languages Institute of Beijing and since I obtained permission to leave the country, I have travelled a lot in France. / I couldn’t stay in China any longer. I believed that in Europe I would be able to express myself freely, so in 1987 I obtained political asylum in France and moved to Paris.

2. In 1989 I read about the Tiananmen Square protest.

3. I immediately gave up my membership of the Communist Party and requested French citizenship, which I obtained in 1998.

4. But my experience in France hasn’t been completely positive… / … particularly at the beginning.

Page 4

1. Why don’t you want to publish my work? / What’s wrong with my work?

2. You’re work is fine… per se.

3. But I don’t think it will sell.

4. You’re talking about sales?  What does it take to sell art?

5. You still don’t understand, do you? / I don’t care what a Chinese person thinks about this, this is a completely different world.

Page 5

1. Then I understood that artists must live at the “edges”. It was a difficult period of my life. I didn’t give up my freedom in China, and I wouldn’t do so in France.

2. I also started painting. / mmm…

3. Your prints are amazing! / Really? / I’d like to display them in my art gallery! /

4. …of course…/ Eh eh, greetings man!

5. In this way I began on a journey that led me to the Nobel Prize.