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NEW YORK (November 4, 2021) — The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) congratulates exiled Chinese dissident artist Badiucao for his recent initiatives that have made headlines around the world and raised awareness about the human rights abuses perpetrated by China’s authoritarian regime. 

HRF is proud to have Badiucao as a valued member of our Oslo Freedom Forum (OFF) community. Over the years, Badiucao’s political artwork has unmasked the lies of the Chinese regime, raised awareness for pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong, and exposed the Chinese Community Party’s (CCP) censorship of the coronavirus pandemic. He is the creator of the Lennon Flag, which became a symbol that inspired and mobilized the global community to stand in solidarity with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy movement. Badiucao was awarded HRF’s Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent in 2020, and was also this year an inaugural artist-in-residence of HRF and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts’ Art in Protest Residency program.


Badiucao and the NBA

On Wednesday, October 27, Badiucao was featured on CNN stressing the importance of creative dissent, referencing his recent collaboration with NBA basketball star and Celtics player, Enes Kanter. 

Since the start of the 2021 NBA season, Kanter has been wearing customized shoes during basketball games to highlight various global human rights issues. So far, Kanter has worn shoes hand painted by Badiucao about the Tibetan freedom movement, the Uyghur crisis, and the Chinese dictatorship’s fragility. These shoes have garnered millions of impressions across social media, and have helped propel the struggle for freedom into the global spotlight.

Some media highlights include:

China is (not) near: Badiucao Exhibition

Badiucao is currently in Brescia, Italy to debut his first international solo exhibition, China is (not) near: Badiucao, scheduled to open on November 13, 2021, at the Santa Giulia Museum. The Italian city of Brescia defied pressure from the Chinese government to censor and cancel Badiucao’s exhibition, and decided in favor of freedom of artistic expression. 

Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent

Badiucao was one of three laureates of the 2020 Václav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. The award honors those who engage in creative dissent, exhibiting courage and creativity to challenge injustice and live in truth. 

“There are individuals… using generosity and kindness to change the circumstances. That gives me hope and motivation.” 

— Badiucao

Badiucao was virtually honored as a Havel Prize Laureate at the 2020 Oslo Freedom Forum, and this year, was presented with the award by HRF Chairman Garry Kasparov at the 2021 Oslo Freedom Forum in Miami. The Havel Prize — a bronze sculpture depicting the “Goddess of Democracy,” the iconic figure erected by Chinese students during the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in June 1989 — embodies the spirit of creative dissent and represents the power of truth and beauty in the face of brutality and oppression. 

Watch the Havel Prize ceremony at the 2021 Oslo Freedom Forum in Miami here

Some media highlights include:


2021 Oslo Freedom Forum in Miami 

Badiucao’s solo exhibition, titled “Vaccination,” was featured at the New World Center’s Soundscape Park as part of the 2021 Oslo Freedom Forum in Miami. The exhibition consisted of a collection of Badiucao’s political satire work that disrupt the arrogance of tyrants from China and beyond. It was also the first release of Badiucao’s artistic takes on boycotting the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympics.

Some media highlights include: 

Art in Protest Residency

In 2021, Badiucao was an inaugural artist-in-residence of the Human Rights Foundation and Gray Area Foundation for the Arts’ Art in Protest Residency program. The Art in Protest Residency is a three-month program for artists whose art is dedicated to promoting democracy and human rights globally. The program helps dissident artists explore and expand their digital practices. 

Badiucao’s residency ran from July 6 to October 4, 2021, at Gray Area’s headquarters in San Francisco, California, where he received mentorship and personalized feedback on his work from interdisciplinary artists and technologists as part of Gray Area’s Incubator space.

Donate to HRF’s Art in Protest program to support dissident artists, like Badiucao, who use their art to make a lasting impact in the global struggle against authoritarianism. 

Badiucao has continued to push the boundaries of dissident art in his challenges to the CCP. HRF is grateful for all that he has done in challenging censorship and dictatorship, and we look forward to continuing to support his creative endeavors. 


The Human Rights Foundation (HRF) is a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that promotes and protects human rights globally, with a focus on closed societies.