Visual artist banned in China

25 April 2012

An exhibition with works of the Germany-based artist Simon Raab, which was scheduled to open in Beijing, was closed and the art work returned to Germany.

Simon Raab’s banned art includes an abstract piece entitled ‘Tibetan Flags’ from a series called ‘From Behind These Bars’.

“Perhaps it was naive of Raab to imagine that a work of art, which depicts the immolation of Tibetan culture and the imprisonment of political opposition, would be accepted in Beijing,” wrote Galerie Peter Zimmermann.

News of the banning of Simon Raab’s work in China was made public in the Suddeutsche Zeitung, Feuilleton, in April 2012 (English translation).

American-born Simon Raab has enjoyed several successful years of exhibitions in numerous European capitals and is represented by the Peter Zimmermann Gallery in Mannheim, Germany.

On 25 April 2012, Simon Raab’s collection had been liberated by Chinese authorities and is in transit to Germany. The collection will be displayed at the Galerie Barbara von Stechow, Frankfurt am Main, in Germany from 20 June to 15 August 2012.


“… With remarkable dedication towards the public good, all Raab’s artwork, and almost everybody having something remotely to do with its importation, was taken into custody. The absurdity of it all is pure precision. To arrest art because it discusses incarceration, is to generate and increase interest from an audience that might never have known anything of the work except for the official Chinese response. Patent absurdity, like automobile accidents, always draws spectators. Raab’s remarkable paintings, as well as his subject matter, have now both served “hard time,” which will probably broaden the artist’s audience considerably. What provenance! This is what makes art history so entertaining.

My father once observed that every time some morally offended community decided to ban, or burn his books, the sales always went way up everywhere else. To be banned in Boston was great for business. But to be banned in Fargo or Freemont isn’t like being considered anathema to billions of Chinese. That takes real talent.”

Thomas Steinbeck


This release was issued through WebWire(R). For more information visit

SOURCE: Galerie Peter Zimmermann

CONTACT: Insa Rullkoetter, Arts Marketing Manager,
Galerie Peter Zimmermann, Mannheim, Germany

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