Azeris Attack Armenian Art Pavilion at Beijing Biennale

BEIJING, China (A.W.)—The organizers of the Sixth Beijing International Art Biennale have temporarily shut down the Armenian pavilion after three men clad in suits reportedly attempted to destroy Armenian artwork on display.

According to the organizers of the Armenian pavilion, three Azerbaijani men posing as officials came to the pavilion and exhibited “aggressive behavior.” They’ve published published a picture of the alleged attackers on the official Facebook page of the exhibition. “Azerbaijani officials creating problems in the ‪‎Armenian pavilion at ‪ Beijing ‪International ‪Biennale,” reads the Facebook post. The organizers later announced that the ‪‎Armenian pavilion would remain closed on Sept. 24, “due to aggressive behavior experienced by certain visitors.”

Organizers of the Armenian pavilion published a picture of the alleged attackers on the official Facebook page of the exhibition.
The organizers of the Armenian pavilion published a picture of the alleged attackers on the official Facebook page of the exhibition.

According to the curator of the Armenian pavilion, Anna Gargarian, the men attempted to destroy artwork by Armenian artist Karen Mirzoyan, reported CivilNet. The Armenian Weekly reached out to Gargarian for comments; “For now I can say that our team and artworks are safe,” she said.

Armenia is one of five countries that participated in this year’s Biennale. The exhibition, titled “Dreamscapes” and sponsored by the Ministry of Culture of Armenia, explores the theme of “Memories and Dreams” through the metaphorical and physical landscape. “Through their different styles and media, the exhibiting artists explore their physical and internal landscapes to investigate questions of identity, belonging, and nationhood. The works question dichotomies of reality versus illusion, past versus present, and individual versus collective memory,” reads the description of the exhibition.

Eight artists from Armenia and the Armenian Diaspora are participating in the exhibition, including Mirzoyan (Armenia), Allen Sayegh (United States), Hrair Sarkissian (United Kingdom), and Mikayel Ohanjanyan (Italy).

According to the report by CivilNet, prior to the opening of the Armenian exhibition, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had put pressure on the biennale organizers “to remove ‘sensitive words’ like ‘massacre, Armenian Genocide, and mass atrocities’ from both the catalogue of the biennale, and the exhibition itself.” The organizers were asked to change wall captions on two artworks in the Armenian pavilion, and to edit curator Anna Gargarian’s preface about the Armenian exhibition in the biennale catalogue.

The Beijing International Art Biennale was initiated in 2003. Since then, a total of 84 countries and more than 3,000 artists have participates, with over a million total visitors. “Through the conception of promoting the global harmony by the contemporary artistic exhibition and respecting the variety of the international culture and advice of equal conversation between the Orient and Occident culture, Beijing Biennale has obtained the approbation and the support from more and more artists across the world,” reads the official website.


  1. What’s the difference between the Isis in Palmira /Syria and this incident. They both are Islamic savage art and cuLture haters.

  2. It is nothing short of amazing that the USA and other freedom loving countries still allow Azerbaijan to participate in the affairs of the world community. Shame on us.

  3. “Global harmony”? now the Chinese have joined the march of trying not to get involved. This is art and art expresses the individuals feelings – be it the “genocide” or the “massacre” of our people. Have the chinese authorities arrested these thugs? and if not why not? is there another ugly conspiracy
    appearing on the world scene and now in the world of art exhibition? I wonder! I beg China not to go the same path as those denialist.The Chinese are smart people, just hope they do not fall into the trap of denialism.

  4. And so what happened to the attackers ? No law i forcemeat ? No arrests and no punishment for criminal behavior ?
    Then why take part in such exhibitions ? What are the organizers good for if they can not protect the artists and their art work … Something is missing in this picture …
    Why are Armenians taking part without guarantees to their safety ? The pictures of the attackers is clearly available , so where is law in forcemeat ??? Why that part is missing from this article ??? And this is not the first event that this sort of ugly thing happened … Where is the commen wisdom in all of this ….

  5. Madam Gargarian, Could You please tell at least, what was fhe reaction of
    Beijing Biennale officials to this incident.

  6. All that oil money does not change their violent behavior. It is sad that countries like US (my country) that pretend to be human rights protectors does not see the evil deeds of both Turkish and Azeri citizens. I guess if you have oil you are more equal than others

  7. Azeri’s are getting bold in their aggressiveness against Armenians from the lukewarm response against terrorism from the West, and the double-talk we hear from Erdoghan of Turkey, who despises all minorities in Turkey, such as Armenians, Kurds, Yezidis…

  8. It shouldn’t be surprising that Chinese (and global) censorship that distorts and diminishes the Armenian experience and dehumanizes the Armenian, would be followed by Azerbaijani violence…Armenians remain unprotected and vulnerable to attack on many fronts on the global scene.

    This is part of the vicious cycle of victimization that Armenians continue to face around the world, when powerful political and economic forces band together, due to mutual economic interests rather than any interest in human rights and justice, to bully and silence Armenians through censorship, violence, and intimidation.

    • China is flexing its global muscle and aiming to be a global power. That means relations with countries such as Turkey and Azerbaijan. And again the old game of not upsetting those two in order to preserve interests is again at play. Turkey was talking about buying Chinese missiles recently. Of course the Chinese will not want to upset Turkey when they have money to make.

    • Not everything in China’s policies is so univocal. On the other hand, China has a foreign policy and politico-military interest in the RoA, as Beijing seems to consider Armenia a small bastion against the spread of Turkic influence all the way onto her Turkic-populated Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region.

    • But they’re willing to go along with Turkish denialism. They’re also willing to sell military hardware to Turkey. At best, this is Chinese pragmatic foreign policy balancing their interests in the region with Turkey and Armenia. I don’t know in what manner China is involved with Azerbaijan, but would not be surprised if China is willing to sell them military hardware.

  9. Dear friends, All of us have witnessed the fact how armenians again try to create false image of “suffering” and put in a confusing the people not having enough information about the occupying policy of Armenia.
    As is known, an exhibition of well-known artists on the theme “Memories and dreams”, are held in Beijing. Azerbaijani diplomats also have been invited to participate in this event. Azerbaijan at the event is represented by young artist Leyla Rasulzadeh with very beautiful work about the history of the city of Gabala, which represents the ancient culture and history of Azerbaijani people and today’s Gabala with its high-developed and beautiful image is also a clear indicator of modern Azerbaijan, the fastest high-developing country in the world. Having sawn the works of armenian artists we once again convinced that armenians continue unashamedly and cynically proporandize its aggressive policy, while using cultural events. Their works were presented to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by the Armenian soldiers who committed genocide in Khojaly, killed 300 thousand Azerbaijanis, million people were expelled from their homes.
    In her facebook page, so-called “artist” Anna Gargaryan made impression that Azerbaijani diplomats “acted rudely and tried to destroy” the works of Armenian artists. Diplomats, like the characteristic of Azerbaijan’s diplomacy invited to the Armenian pavillion the organizers of the event and reminded them for UN Resolutions concerning Nagorno-Karabagh conflict, as well as China’s position in the Nagorno-Karabakh issue.The diplomats demanded to remove the work related to Karabakh. All this took place with the participation of Mrs Gargaryan, other Armenian artists, as well as employees of the Armenian Embassy in China.
    Chinese friends agreed with the requests of Azerbaijani diplomats, accused armenian delegation in giving false information to them about the conflict and promised immediately to remove all issues related to Karabagh.
    As a result
    the labels and descriptions associated with Karabakh, as well as the work about the armenian soldier have been removed from pavillion and catalogue of the exbition. So we enclose the videos proving the above-mentioned.

    • Dear friend:

      In the tradition of fakery and lies, since the creation of the fake state of azerbaijan in 1918 with the name stolen from Iran, our dear friend Rovshan from azerbaijan, a dear guest of ArmenianWeekly, continues the turkic tribal custom of spreading lies and manufacturing myths.

      To wit:

      1.{“ occupying policy of Armenia.”}

      Caucasus turks, originally from Uyguristan region, are foreign invaders and occupiers in Caucasus.
      Currently the invaders still occupy Lowlands Kharabagh.
      After attempting to exterminate the indigenous population of Highlands Karabagh aka Nagorno Karabagh, the turkic invaders were thrown out of Armenian lands.
      Unfortunately the turkic tribes still occupy our Nakhichevan, where the turkic barbarians destroyed 1000s of irreplaceable Armenian Khachkars a few years ago.

      2.{, so-called “artist” Anna Gargaryan}

      What do nomads know about art ?

      3.{Their works were presented to the occupied territories of Azerbaijan by the Armenian soldiers who committed genocide in Khojaly, killed 300 thousand Azerbaijanis, million people were expelled from their homes.}

      There are no so-called “occupied territories” of azerbaijan.
      Turkic tribes are squatting on occupied Armenian lands.
      “genocide” at Khojaly ? surely you jest, dear guest: former azerbaijani President Mutalibov asserted Khojaly tragedy was organized by the Fascist National Front to oust him.
      Armenians gave free passage to Khojaly civilians.
      When OMON troops, who were mixed in with evacuating civilians, opened fire on Armenian troops while hiding behind their women and children, Armenian troops returned fire.
      As a result, a number of civilians were killed.
      Other evacuating azerbaijani civilians were killed by azerbaijani military – either by mistake or deliberately.

      4.{ killed 300 thousand Azerbaijanis, million people were expelled from their homes.}

      I wish the 300,000 number of invading Tatar troops KIA was true.
      Sorry, Armenians KIA only 37,000 Turkic and Islamist terrorist invaders.
      Armenians lost 6,000 precious Armenian lives to do that.
      Next time will do better.

      The fake number of “one million” is as fake as the fake state of azerbaijan.
      About 170,000 azerbaijanis living in Armenia SSR were asked to leave after the pogroms of Armenian civilians in azerbaijan.
      azerbaijanis freely took with them whatever they could: no azerbaijani was harmed in any way in Yerevan.
      Most were compensated for their abandoned real estate by RoA Gov.
      About 400,000 azerbaijanis illegally living on occupied Armenian lands in Artsakhs were told to leave, when Neo-Nazi azerbaijan failed at their attempted Genocide of Armenians, and their military fled towards Baku, pursued by their intended gyavur “victims”.
      About 500,000 Armenians living in azerbaijan SSR fled with nothing, after the Sumgait, Kirovabad, and Baku massacres of Armenian civilians by Fascist Musavat turks.
      Armenians left behind everything: real estate, personal property, bank accounts.
      Thieving nomads ended up with the fruits of the labor of productive people.

      The rest of the post of our dear guest is the usual lies and disinformation that is the tribal custom of nomadic invaders and occupiers of Armenian lands.

  10. Hey Rashven, Who cares about China and their sub human policies. Your people ran away on the battle field after starting the war. remember? You cried for cease fire remember? I do. The Armenians liberated their lands from your invading Tatars who came from the Asian foothills. Azerbaijan is made up. No map shows “Azerbaijan before 1918. Amnesia? And now the biggest most corrupt regime of Azerbaijan with oil prices tumbling is panicking. Who cares about China and their sub human policies. You people should be careful what you wishes for. Another war might just topple the despot and separate your outpost called Azerbaijan..

  11. “prior to the opening of the Armenian exhibition, the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs had put pressure on the Biennale organizers “to remove ‘sensitive words’ like ‘massacre, Armenian Genocide, and mass atrocities’”

    So I see that China now has engaged in similar tricks straight out of the US State Dept songbook. Here is more info for you China: also stop calling those Turkic Uighurs at your doorstep who are engaged in “freedom fighting” as “terrorists”. Remember, you are the ‘enlightened’ China who is extremely concerned about people’s ‘feelings’ and what is ‘appropriate’ and not. So before you take care of the ‘feelings’ of people thousands of miles away, take care of your own citizen’s ‘feelings’ first, don’t you think?

    • It seems as though everyone thinks they are an expert of China and its internal policies.

      China does the same with ALL foreign disputes unrelated to China. Its China’s official policy never to get involved in foreign countries affairs. If Germany was run by a Neo-Nazi party and asked China to yank any Holocaust related words from a Jewish exhibit, China would do it to be neutral to both parties. It has nothing to do with bias against Armenians or pro-Turkish sentiment.

      There was a genocide performed between minorities in China perpetrated by Manchus against Dzungars. In the name of preserving “ethnic harmony” which is an official policy of the Chinese government, it censors material on it even though the Chinese government is not run by Manchus at all. China would never portray one ethnic group or minority as more violent than another, it has to project an image that they are all brotherly and peaceful with each other.

      There is constant violence in the northwestern provinces of Qinghai and Gansu between Tibetans and Hui Muslims. The Tibetans fight, beat, and kill Hui Muslims, loot their stores, murder them, attack their Mosques, and cause massive riots because Tibetans hate Hui Muslims and Islam.

      China’s policy on this matter is to shut off all news reporting and censor everything. Even though it would be advantageous’ to China’s image abroad in order to portray Tibetans as violent, bigoted racist maniacs so no one will support Tibetan separatism, China completely censors reports of the violence and instead keeps stating that all ethnic groups live in harmony blah blah blah and that Tibetans are brothers with Hui Muslims in the Chinese nation, and wants to project a false image of peaceful Tibetans as citizens of China.

      The ruling Communist Party has this idea of “maintaining harmony” in the Chinese language and culture, non-Chinese don’t have any idea of how this works and wouldn’t understand it. You can’t adequately translate such terms.

      If you Armenians had reports of your enemies, the Turks, committing violence and killing Kurds, no doubt your would seek to publicize it as much as possible. The exact opposite is true of China. China officially projects an image of “stability” and “ethnic harmony” and absolutely downplays all kinds of Tibetan and Uyghur violence against others, even when it would make China look good and Tibetans and Uyghurs look like evil violent maniacs. The priority of the Communist Party is to maintain an outward and internal image of “peace” and “stability”. China in fact censors most reports of Uyghur violence against non-Uyghurs, it even refused to recognize the Kunming bus bombings in 2008 as terrorism even though Uyghurs claimed credit for it. Most reports of Uyghur violence come from western media with an axe to grind.

      They really don’t understand foreign cultures or attitudes. You cannot explain or translate your feelings or sentiment adequately into Chinese.

      Speaking of which, Armenian American community leaders defended Japan’s non-apology for their mass rape and sex slavery system of “comfort women” against Korean women.

      China didn’t defend the Turks, it removed mention of the entire events with no position (World War I and the Armenian Genocide). Armenian American leaders actively defended the Japanese government’s position on the issue while the current Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe says he supports Japan’s actions in World War II and visits a shrine honoring war criminals and rapists

      Take the gigantic plank out of your own eye before preaching to others.

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