Mao Zedong, the masses, and the art of calligraphy: Big-Character posters during the cultural revolution

Pamela Churchill

In the tumult of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, the art of calligraphy experienced a revolution of its own. The traditional cursive scripts once utilized by the literati were abandoned in favour of simplified scripts to be employed by the population at large. Big-character posters, or dazibao, papered the streets of urban spaces, work units, and residential areas. Illustrated in bold characters, Maoist slogans and denunciations embodied the Maoist principle, “it is right to rebel.”1 Since the Maoist faction both promoted their goals on the big-character poster and encouraged the masses to do the same, an overwhelming rhetoric of revolution was expounded from all levels of society.2 However, even as the brush became a tool of the masses, Mao solidified his authority by exploiting the traditional practice of calligraphy.3 Over the course of the Cultural Revolution, the big-character poster provided a space for reciprocal communication between the Maoist authorities and the masses. The medium transformed the art of calligraphy from a practice of the elite to a revolutionary weapon of the people. Nonetheless, it also served as a means for Mao Zedong to bolster his cult of personality by appropriating the traditional indexicality of calligraphy.  Following Mao’s death and the end of the Cultural Revolution in 1976, the big-character poster would be increasingly used to express overt dissent. The legacy of the big-character poster continues to weigh on contemporary Chinese visual culture, figuring prominently in the work of contemporary artists as a means to come to terms with the turmoil of the recent past.4

The Development of the Big-Character Poster

The tradition of posting big-character posters is situated within a long history of political propaganda and dissent in China. Since the imperial era, posters were used by the central powers to communicate edicts, pronouncements and warnings to the periphery.5 In addition, unofficial posters were frequently employed by scholars and students in order to bring their grievances to the attention of the central authorities. East Asian scholar and historian Goran Leijonhufvud explains in Going Against the Tide that according to both the Mandate of Heaven and Confucian philosophy, the people’s criticisms are considered valid when expressed in the ruler’s interest, and as a result, many emperors spoke “in favour of the tradition of criticism.”6 Unofficial posters tended to follow the lines of ‘loyal dissent,’ calling not for the overthrow of the government but for reform to improve China’s unity. Nonetheless, over the course of Chinese history such avenues of free speech have often met with restrictions once the criticism is deemed too destructive.7

During the twentieth century, this ebb and flow of freedom can be charted in the medium of the big-character poster. Posters were first employed as a form of dissent against the Communist Party in 1942 when a young communist scholar, Wang Shiwei, hung a poster criticizing party leaders for their repressive response to dissent. Wang was arrested soon after and beheaded in 1947. Although once the big-character poster was officially condoned, Mao would express his regret for Wang’s death, as the Community Party struggled for power during this early period, such freedom of speech was off-limits.8

Scholars argue that the first large scale use of the big-character poster as we recognize it today was during the Hundred Flowers Campaign of 1957 when the authorities solicited intellectuals for criticisms of the socialist system.9 Peking University students erected big-character posters on campus where they stated their grievances, but the campaign was met with a swift crackdown, resulting in the incarceration of many intellectuals. Nevertheless, the Hundred Flowers Campaign demonstrated to Mao the potential of the big-character poster as a political tool. Later that year, Mao declared the big-character poster an “instrument [that] favours the proletariat, not the bourgeoisie” and encouraged its adoption by the people to spark debate in ways helpful to the socialist project.10 At this time, he saw that among an educated population, the big-character poster could serve as an effective way to disseminate information and rouse revolutionary fervor. Consequently, the medium reemerged during the Cultural Revolution, this time in support of both the authorities and the masses.11

Official and Unofficial Big-Character Posters during the Cultural Revolution

Scholars have referred to the Cultural Revolution as a “dazibao movement” due to the importance of the big-character poster as a political and social catalyst.12 In the wake of the disastrous Great Leap Forward in the late-1950s, Mao Zedong was forced to recede from the public eye, leaving Liu Shaoqi to take his place. As Guo Jian explains in “Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China,” Mao incessantly feared “the growth of the new bourgeoisie [i.e., revisionism within the Party],” and as a result, attempted to reclaim his power through the Cultural Revolution.13 Since the opposing political faction had control over both the propaganda department and the media, Mao turned to the medium of the big-character poster in order to express his own revolutionary goals and he encouraged the masses to do the same.14

Two specific events at the beginning of the Revolution defined the big-character poster as a medium to be used by both the authorities and the masses. The first of these events was the erection of the first “Marxist-Leninist Big-Character Poster” at Beijing University on the 25th of May, 1966, written by Nie Yuanzi and six other members of the Department of Philosophy. The poster criticized the University President Lu Ping for suppressing revolutionary student activity. In addition to this criticism, it called upon the people to weed out counter-revolutionaries from society and to align with the movement’s leader, Chairman Mao. The lengthy poster concluded with a call to arms:

To all revolutionary intellectuals, now is the time to fight. Let us unite and raise high the great flag of Mao Zedong’s Thought. Let us unite under the leadership of the Central Party Committee and Chairman Mao. [Let us] expose all kinds of plots and monstrous tactics and controls. [Let us] annihilate all the monsters and demons completely, thoroughly, and entirely; annihilate all Khruschev-like revisionists, and carry out until the end the socialist revolution!15

Soon after this event, Mao publicly proclaimed his support for Nie Yuanzi’s aggressive poster by announcing, “how well written was the nation’s first Marxist-Leninist wall poster and the commentary from the People’s Daily,” which led to an outpouring of posters created by Red Guards. The President of the University was quickly ousted from her position.16

The second of these defining moments was the erection of Mao’s personally written big-character poster in a residential area where many top officials lived. It read: “Bombard the Capitalist Headquarters: My First Big-Character Poster,” and was both an attack on Liu Shaoqi’s government and an invitation for the people to critique the opposing faction, from the highest echelons of the Communist government to the lowest peasant.17 From this point forward, the streets of urban spaces and villages alike would be flooded with big-character posters. Verbal debates frequently took place in the vicinity of these posters, as well as self-criticism sessions. Regular interaction with the big-character poster became in itself an indication of revolutionary spirit. In Kwong’s Cultural Revolution in China’s Schools, a former Red Guard explains that one had to read and erect big-character posters because “otherwise you would not be revolutionary.”18

These two early posters set the tone for the thousands that followed. The vast majority of dazibao during this period featured either denunciations or praise of Maoist thought, phrased in strong, violent language, and often framed in metaphors of war. Xing Lu explains in Rhetoric of the Cultural Revolution that dazibao were “heralded as the best fighting form for the revolutionary masses.”19 The brush was to be wielded by the people as a revolutionary tool and the slogan, “pick up your brush to use as a weapon, concentrate your firepower to sweep away the ‘Black Party,’” was taken up by all levels of society.20

Although supposedly a space for free speech, big-character posters were primarily used to promote conformity and spread Mao’s cult of personality. Mao used official big-character posters as a means to criticize his opponents and encouraged the masses to do the same. Opponents like Liu Shaoqi and Lin Biao, fell out of favour partially as a result of the big-character posters and other forms of propaganda. At the same time, big-character poster writing flourished at the grassroots level.21 The extent to which such posters conformed to the Maoist cult of personality can be seen in the text of a Red Guard big-character poster written at Qinghua Middle School in 1966:

We must rebel against any person who advocates revisionism! We must rebel against anyone who opposes Mao Zedong thought! We are Red Guards who swear allegiance to Chairman Mao. We are loyal to him. We would carry out his highest order. That is to say, we would carry out the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution to the end.22

This poster demonstrates the fierce loyalty to Mao Zedong typical of Red Guard posters. Since dissent against the Maoist faction was dangerous, many went to great lengths to demonstrate conformity to the revolution. People frequently wrote for the sake of appearing revolutionary, resulting in the appearance of many fallacious denunciations on big-character posters. In his historical survey of the big-character poster, Hua Sheng concludes that “Mao thus gained what he appeared to desire from dazibao—not the free expression of ideas different from his own, but the echo of his own voice reverberating across the country.”23

The creation of big-character posters thus became a type of revolutionary performance. A photograph by Li Zhensheng shows a propaganda group at Harbin’s University hard at work. While the image was originally taken for a revolutionary newspaper and has likely been partially staged, the photograph is an accurate illustration of the vigor and efficiency with which the people produced big-character posters, as well as the type of posters produced. The poster at the forefront of the image contains a realistic portrait of Mao Zedong and the bold slogans of the surrounding posters read, “Upsurge Revolutionary Criticism” and “Criticize China’s Nikita Khruschev Liu Shaoqi.”24 Moreover, the obvious staging of the image itself offers critical insight into the function of big-character posters during the Cultural Revolution, namely as performances of conformity to the Maoist line and its rhetoric of perpetual revolution.25

Tradition, Socialist Modernity and the Art of Calligraphy

On the pages of big-character posters, the masses confronted the Chinese literati tradition. The expression of Communist thoughts on posters became a revolutionary activity that the population as a whole feverishly adopted.26 Big-character posters reportedly appeared even in the farthest countryside, especially after 1968 when the Red Guard was sent to China’s rural areas in large numbers. The ancient art of Chinese calligraphy, which had previously been in the hands of the literati and the emperorship, is characterized by elaborate cursive scripts. Richard Kraus notes in Brushes with Power that “calligraphy provided a means of ensuring that over the centuries China’s literati would continue to hold political power in their own hands.”27 Traditionally, the ability to write in impressive calligraphy was a person’s passage into the elite world through the Civil Service examination system from which government workers were selected. However, because well-executed calligraphy requires time and practice, calligraphy, as well as full literacy, remained inaccessible to the majority of the Chinese people.28

Chinese characters are monosyllabic and pictographic. Chiang Yee explains in Chinese Calligraphy that they “not only serve the purpose of conveying thought but also express in a peculiar visual way the beauty of the thought.”29 As an art form, calligraphy was considered especially powerful for its potential to reveal the personality of the writer and evoke his presence through his signature writing style.30 An example of this tradition is the scholar Kang Youwei’s (1858-1927) Running Style or hsing-shu script, a style that originated in the later Han period. Chiang Yee suggests that this style emerged to allow for quicker writing, spontaneity, and “vivid movement” on the part of the calligrapher, resulting in lines which taper as the ink fades.31 During the Cultural Revolution, the Red Guard set out to destroy traditional works of calligraphy, and pieces painted by Kang Youwei were targeted and defaced.32

The calligraphy style most often employed during the Cultural Revolution exemplifies the universal nature of the big-character poster. Tsong-zung states that in the eyes of the Communist party, calligraphy was “regarded as a tool for the Movement of Abolishing Illiteracy and rarely promoted as art training [since] as an independent form of art, calligraphy was probably too cozy with the traditional literati for the taste of the Communist reformers.”33 As a result, out of the many styles of calligraphy that had developed over the centuries, the Regular Script and Neo-Wei style became the most commonly used during the Cultural Revolution. Da Zheng explains that these two styles consisted of “standardized strokes and rigid composition,” forming simplistic and legible characters that would be accessible to all who wanted to write and read.34 These simplified forms of calligraphy “demystified” and made revolutionary what was once the art of the elites.35

The Neo-Wei script offers an example of this modern and revolutionary calligraphy. As opposed to the curved, multi-toned letters of the Running style, Neo-Wei style calligraphy is bold, easy to read, and standardized, removing any trace of the calligrapher who wrote it. This standardization is an important aspect of Neo-Wei style: the creation of big-character posters was not meant to be an act of individuality, but a collective labour of revolution.36 Xu Bing, a contemporary Chinese artist created many big-character posters with his local propaganda department during the Cultural Revolution. In describing this work Xu compares himself to a cog in the machine of the revolution, contributing blindly to the spread of ideology.37 As a rule, the big-character posters produced at this time contained little indexical indicators of individual writers. Instead, the posters formed a uniform sea of Maoist slogans and denunciations.38

Although the Red Guards embarked on a campaign to destroy all traditional works of calligraphy, one cursive script remained publicly sanctioned: that of Mao. A poet and calligrapher, Mao had developed a style of calligraphy distinctly his own which he used to bolster his cult of personality throughout the Cultural Revolution. Kraus explains that after the hanging of Mao’s first big-character poster, Mao’s calligraphy “assumed the status of talisman.”39 His writing became almost as iconic as his portrait. Tsong-zung further asserts that “Mao made full use of his image as a traditional literati scholar, emphasizing his poetry and calligraphy and lending authority and historical legitimacy to his role as a sagacious ruler.”40 Mao’s calligraphy became so identifiable and symbolic in the eyes of the people that it was chosen to adorn the Red Guard armband and was frequently featured in magazines and newspapers where Mao desired a presence.41

An inherent contradiction underlies Mao’s big-character poster, which advocates anti-bourgeois revolution while simultaneously exploiting calligraphy’s history as an elite art to bolster his own authority.42 A 1968 propaganda image demonstrates the extent to which Mao’s big-character poster was exalted. Mao is painted in a style that is both realistic and reminiscent of the traditional literati ink paintings. He holds a writing brush that points to a recreation of his calligraphy, reading: “Bombard the Capitalist Headquarters – My First Big-Character Poster.” At the bottom left corner is a seal, another feature of literati paintings that contrasts greatly with the aforementioned anti-bourgeois slogan. In this image, the tension between Mao’s adoption of literati trappings and the revolutionary content of his rhetoric is visually manifest. Nonetheless, it is ultimately Mao’s cult of personality that dominates the image, once again positioning cursive calligraphy as an art of the elite.43

From Loyal Dissent to Overt Dissent at the Close of the Cultural Revolution

In the early stages of the Revolution, dazibao were largely used for promoting revolution across all levels of society, and the messages of these posters rarely strayed from the Maoist line. However as the Cultural Revolution wore on, the masses increasingly employed the big-character poster as a tool to state their personal grievances, illustrating a shift from loyal dissent to overt dissent. An early instance of this shift can be seen in the 1975 poster erected by three men under the name “Li Yizhe.” Although in its criticism of Lin Biao the poster followed the Maoist line, the authors also called for China to integrate democracy and greater attention human rights into its political system.44 As a result, the writers of the poster were arrested. Although Mao recognized big-character posters as a freedom of speech, when such posters did not support the Maoist agenda their writers often faced severe penalties.45

Following Mao’s death in 1976, the Maoist faction, known as the Gang of Four, became almost instantly the target of big-character posters.46 From this moment on, as the cult of Mao disintegrated the degree of overt dissent manifested in big-character posters increased. The Democracy Wall of the 1978 Democracy Movement illustrates an attempt on the part of the public to come to terms with the Cultural Revolution. This wall, plastered with big-character posters, quickly became a space to voice dissent against the Gang of Four and the Maoist cult of personality.47 Although at first the wall was tolerated, when posters appeared criticizing party leader Deng Xiaoping, a crackdown ensued.48 During the lead-up to the Tiananmen Square Massacre in 1989, Beijing was once again papered with big-character posters offering outright criticisms of the government. Six months after the massacre, the Education Commission initiated a law that banned dazibao from University campuses, a final move to outlaw the practice.49

Conclusions

Over the course of the 1980s, Chinese artists would attempt to come to terms with their experiences during the Cultural Revolution by revisiting the art of calligraphy and its manipulation on the big-character poster. Wu Shanzhuan’s Red Humour (1986) and Gu Wenda’s A Game In Which the Audience Serve as Chessmen on a Suspended Chessboard (1987) are two striking installations that harness the visual impact of big-character posters. Both Wu Shanzhuan and Gu Wenda entirely covered rooms with posters in order to comment on the violent and ubiquitous presence of dazibao during the Cultural Revolution. Referencing the popular practice of denunciation, the posters of Gu Wenda’s installation feature immense Chinese characters crossed out with ‘x’s. Wu Shanzhuan’s work, on the other hand, mixes Maoist slogans with mundane advertisements, illustrating the absurd and all-pervasive presence of ideology in the dazibao-inundated visual culture of the Cultural Revolution.50 These powerful art pieces reveal the efforts of Chinese artists to come terms with their heritage of the Cultural Revolution by revisiting and reinterpreting their interactions with the big-character poster.

These contemporary renegotiations of big-character posters illustrate the extent to which this powerful visual phenomenon has left a lasting effect on the Chinese psyche. The big-character poster was a crucial aspect of the Cultural Revolution as it provided for a theoretical space of dialogue between the masses and Mao Zedong. Nonetheless, the rhetoric expounded by the posters, especially in the early years of the Revolution, remained overwhelmingly Maoist as the masses clamored to be revolutionary, both out of genuine zeal and fear. For this reason, the mass production of big-character posters during the Cultural Revolution was in many ways a performance of revolutionary conformity.51 This performance is also reflected in the transformation of calligraphy that occurred on the big-character poster, as the masses adopted simplified scripts, thus transforming the historical literati tradition in the name of anti-bourgeois revolution. Ultimately however, the medium of the big-character poster was harnessed by Mao Zedong as an effective means to bolster his cult of personality, both by disseminating his ideological messages and linking them to his iconic style of calligraphy.52

After Mao’s death, the big-character poster was re-appropriated by the masses to express outright dissent in the Democracy Movement and the movement leading up to the Tiananmen Square Massacre. While the medium of dazibao has been much less frequently used as a form of protest since the late-1980s, scholars such as Henry Siling L, Ashley Esarey, and Xiao Qiang have suggested that the wall of the micro-blog has replaced the physical walls once covered with dazibao. Dissent, these scholars suggest, has found a new space for articulation in the internet.53 Nonetheless, regardless of the decline of big-character posters, the art of calligraphy still plays a prominent role in contemporary Chinese visual culture. Calligraphy continues to be explored today by Chinese artists as a means to probe and investigate their heritage and the psycho-social impact of the Cultural Revolution.54

Endnotes

1. Goran Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide: On Dissent and Big-Character Posters in China (London: Curzon Press, 1990), 17.; Ibid., 61-62.; –. Art of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966-1976, eds. Scott Watson and Shengtian Zheng (Vancouver: Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery and Harbourfront Centre, 2002) 4.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” Journal of Popular Culture, 28:2 (1994), 186-189.
2. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 58-59; Ibid.. 61-62.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China: A Historical Survey,” Journal of Chinese Law, 4:233 (1990), 240.
3. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 19.; Ibid., 67.;  Jiang Jiehong, Burden or Legacy: From the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Contemporary Art (Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press, 2007), 11-12.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 186-189.; Ibid., 190.; Ibid., 194-197.; Richard Curt Kraus, Brushes with Power: Modern Politics and the Chinese Art of Calligraphy (Berkeley: University of California Press, 1991), 96-97, 99-100.
4. Jiang Jiehong, Burden or Legacy, 11-13.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 75-79.; Ibid., 84.
5. Ibid., 31-32.; Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution: The Impact on Chinese Thought, Culture, and Communication (Columbia: University of South Carolina, 2004),74.
6. Ibid.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 31-32.
7. Ibid., 32.
8. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 235-236.
9. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 45-51.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China” 237.; Art of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966-1976, 18.
10. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 52-53.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 236-238.
11. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 56-57.; Ibid., 71.; Kraus, Brushes with Power, 96-97.
12. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 58.
13. Guo Jian, “Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China: The Cultural Revolution and Postmodernism,” Modern China, Vol. 25, No. 3 (July 1999), 147.; Art of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966-1976, 4.; Richard King and Jan Walls, “Introduction: Vibrant Images of a Turbulent Decade,” Art in Turmoil: The Chinese Cultural Revolution 1966-76, ed. Richard King (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010), 5-6.;  Julia F. Andrews, “The Art of the Cultural Revolution,” Art in Turmoil: The Chinese Cultural Revolution 1966-76, ed. Richard King (Vancouver: UBC Press, 2010), 28.
14. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 239.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 58.; Ibid., 63.; Julia Kwong, Cultural Revolution in China’s Schools, May 1966-April 1969 (Stanford: Hoover Institution Press, 1988), xii.; John Cleverley, The Schooling of China: Tradition and Modernity in Chinese Education (Second Edition. North Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 1991), 164-165.; King and Walls, “Introduction”, 5-7.; Andrews, “The Art of the Cultural Revolution,” 32.
15. Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 75.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 58-59.; Ibid., 70.; Kwong, Cultural Revolution in China’s Schools, May 1966-April 1969, xiv.; Ibid., 3-7.; Jiang Jiehong, Burden or Legacy, 10.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,”  239.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 186.
16. Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 76.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 60.; Kwong, Cultural Revolution in China’s Schools, May 1966-April 1969, 8.; Art of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966-1976, 20.
17. Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 74-75.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 62.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 239.; Guo Jian, “Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China,” 355-357.; Ibid., 364.
18. Kwong, Cultural Revolution in China’s Schools, May 1966-April 1969, 73.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 55.; Ibid., 61-63.; Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 93.
19. Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 73-76.; Ibid., 89.; Ibid., 91-92.; King and Walls, “Introduction”, 12-14.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 60.
20. Xu Bing, “On Words 1999/2000,” Contemporary Chinese Art: Primary Documents, eds. Wu Hung and Peggy Wang (New York: Museum of Modern Art, 2010), 256.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 186.
21. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 18.; Cleverley, The Schooling of China, 165.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 238-240.; Ibid., 243.
22. Art of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966-1976, 29.
23. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 240.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 20.; Ibid., 62.; Kwong, Cultural Revolution in China’s Schools, May 1966-April 1969, 58-59.; Guo Jian, “Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China,” 355.; Ibid., 364.; Art of the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution 1966-1976, 7.; Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 84.; Ibid., 93.
24. Li Zhensheng, Red-Color News Soldier: A Chinese Photographer’s Odyssey Through the Cultural Revolution, ed. Robert Pledge (New York: Phaidon Press, 2003), 187.
25. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 61.; Ibid., 67.; Xing Lu, Rhetoric of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 93.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 240.; Guo Jian, “Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China,” 355.; Ibid., 364.
26. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 66.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 185-189.; Kraus, Brushes with Power, 36.; Ibid., 39.; Kwong, Cultural Revolution in China’s Schools, May 1966-April 1969, 71.; Ibid., 106-107.; Cleverley, The Schooling of China, 170.; Ibid., 175-176.
27. Kraus, Brushes with Power, 3.; Ibid., 14.; Ibid., 36-37.; Ibid., 39.; Ibid., 43-44.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 185.
28. Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 186-189.; Ibid., 193-196.; Kraus, Brushes with Power, x.; Ibid., 39.; Chiang Yee, Chinese Calligraphy: An Introduction to its Aesthetic and Technique, 3rd ed. (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973), 1.; Ibid., 11-12.; Ibid., 14.
29. Ibid., 1.; Ibid., 14.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 187.
30. Yee, Chinese Calligraphy, 11.; Ibid., 106-107, Ibid., 110-11.; Ibid., 166.; Ibid., 206-207.; Ibid., 236-239.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 187. David Clarke, “Iconicity and Indexicality: The Body in Chinese Art,” Chinese Art and Its Encounter With the World (Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 2011), 117-121.; Kraus, Brushes with Power, 98.
31. Yee, Chinese Calligraphy, 79.; Ibid., 81.; Ibid., 119.; Kang Youwei, “Handwriting in Running Script,” The Palace Museum: The Forbidden City Website (accessed 20 November 2012) http://www.dpm.org.cn/shtml/660/@/100532.html.
32. Kraus, Brushes with Power, 36.; Ibid., 39.; Ibid., 96-97.; Cleverley, The Schooling of China,  165.; Chang Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” Burden or Legacy: From the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Contemporary Art, ed. Jiang Jiehong (Aberdeen: Hong Kong University Press, 2007) 62.; Clarke, “Iconicity and Indexicality,” 116-117.
33. Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” 61.
34. Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 186-188.
35. Ibid., 186.; Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” 61.
36. Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 185-189.; Ibid., 192.; Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,”  62.
37. Xu Bing, “On Words 1999/2000,” 256.
38. Ibid.; Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” 60.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 17-19.; Ibid., 67.
39. Kraus, Brushes with Power, x.; Ibid., 3-4.; Ibid., 99-100.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 191.; Ibid., 195-196.
40. Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” 57-58.
41. Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 188.; Ibid., 190.; Ibid., 194-197.; Li Zhensheng, Red-Color News Soldier, 80.; Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” 60, 62.
42. Clarke, “Iconicity and Indexicality,” 117-119.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 188-193.; Ibid., 195.; Ibid., 198.; Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” 57-58.; Ibid., 60.; Ibid., 62.
43. Kraus, Brushes with Power, 102.; Guo Jian, “Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China,” 364.; Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 192.
44. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 241-242.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 73-74.; Kjeld Erik Brodsgaard, “The Democracy Movement in China, 1978-1979: Opposition Movements, Wall Poster Campaigns, and Underground Journals.” Asian Survey, 21: 7 (1981). 752-756.
45. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 241-243.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 74-75.; Brodsgaard, “The Democracy Movement in China, 1978-1979,” 756.
46. Cleverley, The Schooling of China, 215-218.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 75-76.; Robin Munro, “Settling Accounts with the Cultural Revolution at Beijing University 1977-78.” The China Quarterly, 82 (1980), 308-309.
47. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 245.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 77.
48. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 244-251.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 78-79.; Munro, “Settling Accounts with the Cultural Revolution at Beijing University 1977-78,” 747-748.; Ibid., 769-772.
49. Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 251-252.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide,  23.
50. Wu Hung, Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century (University of Chicago Press: David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, 2005), 39-40.; Jiang Jiehong, Burden or Legacy, 11-12.; Ibid., 29.; Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,”  66.; Ibid., 108-110.
51. Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 58-62.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 240.; Guo Jian, “Resisting Modernity in Contemporary China,” 355.; Ibid., 364.
52. Da Zheng, “Chinese Calligraphy and the Cultural Revolution,” 186-193.; Ibid., 195-196.; Clarke, “Iconicity and Indexicality,”  117-119.; Tsong-zung, “Mesmerized by Power,” 57-58.; Ibid., 60-62.; Kraus, Brushes with Power, x.; Ibid., 3-4.; Ibid., 99-100.
53. Henry Siling Li, “The Turn to the Self: From ‘Big-Character Posters’ to Youtube Videos,” Chinese Journal of Communication, 2:1 (2009), 3-4.; Ibid., 10-12.; Ashley Esarey and Xiao Qiang, “Political Expression in the Chinese Blogosphere: Below the Radar,” Asian Survey, 48:5 (2008), 752-755.; Hua Sheng, “Big Character Posters in China,” 244-252.; Leijonhufvud, Going Against the Tide, 23.; Ibid., 78-79.; Munro, “Settling Accounts with the Cultural Revolution at Beijing University 1977-78,”  747-748.; Ibid., 769-772.
54. Jiang Jiehong, Burden or Legacy, 11-13.; Wu Hung, Transience, 36-40.