China's Art Exhibit Spotlights The Mentally Ill

Published September 3rd, 2021 - 06:46 GMT

China has prepared a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists in order to raise awareness.

Shanghai artist "Cracks" has kept her diagnosis of bipolar disorder hidden from all but her closest friends and family due to the cultural stigma about people with mental illnesses.

In China mental illness is rarely spoken about publicly, forcing millions to cope alone.

"They think we're crazy, that we can't assimilate in society, that we belong only in mental hospitals," said the 24-year-old, who asked for her real name to be withheld, according to AFP.

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China's art exhibition

This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows a man placing a painting on the wall at a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

China's art exhibition

This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows people visiting a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

China's art exhibition

This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows people visiting a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

China's art exhibition

This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows social worker and curator Chen Mengyuan adjusting artwork at a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

China's art exhibition

This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows artist "Chico" at his studio next a gallery displaying a mental health-themed art exhibition with the the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

China's art exhibition

This photo taken on August 19, 2021 shows Shanghai artist "Cracks" drawing while sitting in a coffee shop in Shanghai. The pseudonym "Cracks" springs from her artwork, which she views as opening a crack to "let light in" to her life. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)

China's art exhibition

'Cracks' says her pseudonym springs from her artwork, which she views as opening a crack to 'let light in' to her life. (Hector RETAMAL AFP)

China's art exhibition
China's art exhibition
China's art exhibition
China's art exhibition
China's art exhibition
China's art exhibition
China's art exhibition
China's art exhibition
This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows a man placing a painting on the wall at a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
China's art exhibition
This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows people visiting a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
China's art exhibition
This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows people visiting a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
China's art exhibition
This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows social worker and curator Chen Mengyuan adjusting artwork at a mental health-themed art exhibition displaying the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
China's art exhibition
This photo taken on August 10, 2021 shows artist "Chico" at his studio next a gallery displaying a mental health-themed art exhibition with the the work of some 80 artists to raise awareness, in Shanghai. The World Health Organization estimates 54 million Chinese have depression, and 41 million suffer from anxiety disorders. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
China's art exhibition
This photo taken on August 19, 2021 shows Shanghai artist "Cracks" drawing while sitting in a coffee shop in Shanghai. The pseudonym "Cracks" springs from her artwork, which she views as opening a crack to "let light in" to her life. (Photo by Hector RETAMAL / AFP)
China's art exhibition
'Cracks' says her pseudonym springs from her artwork, which she views as opening a crack to 'let light in' to her life. (Hector RETAMAL AFP)