A small corner of the Far East has gone on display at Kingston Museum depicting the beauty and tragedy of its vast culture.

The Art of Zhen, Shan, Ren international art exhibition has toured more than 200 cities worldwide and will remain on display until March 2.

It features realistic oil paintings and watercolours from mostly Chinese artists, giving viewers an insight into the meditative practice of Falun Gong.

Falun Gong has been banned in China since 1999 and many of the artists featured in the exhibition have faced torture in an effort to “transform” them.

Treasurer for the exhibition Yukari Werrell said she was hopeful the display would bring the beauty of Chinese culture to a wider audience and highlight the persecution of many.

She said: “The exhibition has a very beautiful side to it but also a very dark side as well.

“The exhibition aims to restore Chinese culture which has been systematically destroyed by the Communist party.

“But the persecution aspect is just one part of it – there is so much beauty on display too.”

But if you thought an art exhibition was only for adults, you would be wrong.

On February 22, children have the opportunity to sample Chinese drums at the museum while grown-ups can enjoy the artwork.

And Mrs Werrell said she hoped a large number of visitors would come through the doors to see the exhibition over the next four weeks.

She said: “The art has a very profound effect on those who view it – everyone takes something different away from it.

“It is fantastic to give people a first-hand experience of Chinese culture and to raise awareness of the persecution so many have faced.”

People can visit on Tuesday, Friday and Saturday, 10am to 5pm, and Thursday, 10am to 7pm (Wednesday by appointment only). Admission is free.