Whole Life Endeavor for a Legend


Whole Life Endeavor for a Legend

——Written for the 110th anniversary of Mao Zedong's birth


  Recently, it was found by scholars that the number "28" coincidently appeared thrice both at the turning point of Chinese revolution and in the experience of chairman Mao Zedong's lifetime. From 1893 to 1921(the first 28 years), Mao Zedong participated in the foundation of Chinese Communist Party, this was also the first turning point. From 1921 to 1949(the second 28 years), that is the period before PRC was founded. It was the second turning point. From 1949 to 1976, the last 28 years of chairman Mao, were the third turning point.
  Although "the cycle of 28 years" seems a little bit fated, the three turning points closely connected to the development of Chinese revolution. Detailed affairs happened after the foundation of PRC will be displayed as follows:

The construction of new China

  On October 1st, 1949, the People's Republic of China was founded and Mao Zedong was elected chairman of the government. The embodiment of this historic moment could be found on the medals which were used to celebrate the foundation of PRC (picture one). The most famous one was the canvas painted by Dong Xiwen in 1951. In July 1953, it was exhibited in WuYing Hall of the Imperial Palace later. This canvas vividly expressed the exciting moment and from then on, Mao Zedong played an important role in the political life of China until 1976. That is 28 years.
  After the foundation of PRC, in order to show the worship from the mass to the leader, the head portrait of chairman Mao was printed on various objects, most of which were badges. The first badge with Mao Zedong on it appeared on November 16th, 1949. Then many memorial badges were made in Jingdezhen.
  On June 25th, 1950, US and other fourteen nations invaded Korea and Taiwan. In order to aid Korean people and safeguard new China, Mao helped to form the voluntary army fighting in the war. In 1951, some memorial badges were awarded to the officers, soldiers and people concerned in the war (picture three, picture four).
  In the early days after the foundation of PRC, Mao laid stress on the recoveries of national economy. As we all know, agriculture was the foundation of national economy and water conservancy also played an important role. So in the following days, several meetings about this matter were held in Beijing. Then the government issued much decree about agrarian reform and the dredging of Huai River. As a result, Mao awarded some medals symbolizing patriotism and harvest to those labor models that have contributed greatly in this event (picture six).
  In the latter half of 1952, the national economy took on a new look. Chairman Mao began to make an inspection of Yellow River. He firmly determined to make it better than ever (picture seven, eight).
  From 1953 to 1956, we came to a new stage called socialistic reconstruction. During this period, agriculture and industry greatly developed and many labor models emerged. Chairman Mao honored those who made great contributions then (picture nine, ten).
  Under the leadership of Communist Party, Chinese people have made an all-sided socialist construction from 1957 on. Some economic cultural and scientific backbones played an important part during this period. They also received national award.

The development of new China

  In 1958, Mao Zedong initiated "the Great Leap Forward" which developed into a nationally movement later on. But then it changed to a disaster in Chinese politics because of its exaggeration of the achievements.
In order to overcome the difficulties caused by the "the Great Leap Forward" movement and the three years' natural catastrophe, Mao Zedong made self-criticism first, and then determined to strive for improvement. From 1960 to 1965, under the leadership of chairman Mao, we have made rapid progress in national economy.
  The turning point--- Cultural Revolution  
  In 1966, the Cultural Revolution broke out. The themes of the artistic works of that time focused on the publicity of chairman Mao, the political movement and the images of workers, peasants and soldiers. At that time, those canvas and ceramics that publicized the Cultural Revolution prevailed.
  In 1974, the local government of Jiangxi, Shandong, Hunan where five famous kilns located were prescribed to make a set of daily-used ceramics. The ceramics were asked to represent the highest level of technique in producing ceramics. After being carefully selected, the ceramics made by Zhengde kiln became the model. In 1975, such project was named "7501 project" which was accomplished one year later (picture twelve). Such ceramics were fired in temperature of 1400 centigrade. They were of high quality with plum blossom and peach blossom as the pattern. Some of them were sent to Zhongnanhai while others were auctioned in 1996.
  Moreover, some bookmarks, discs, diaries written by chairman Mao could also be found at that time (picture 13~16).
  Since Mao Zedong has made great contributions to Chinese revolution, he was worshiped by all the Chinese people. So on each anniversary of Mao Zedong's birth, people took various measures to commemorate him. Shanghai once issued a set of (six pieces) telephone magcard on his 100th anniversary. This year, collectors in Shanghai issued certain matchboxes with Mao's pictures on to celebrate the 110th anniversary.
  By collecting the related badges, discs, books and pictures (picture 19), people showed their earnest yearn for chairman Mao. These collections not only recorded the experience of chairman Mao, but a special era.






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