German Version


Picturing Power:
Art and Propaganda in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

31.1.-28.2.2001 Universitätsmuseum Heidelberg

Still Awake in the Middle of the Night
Shenye bumian

Unknow artist
Unknown date, Shanghai
It's 11:30 pm and a peasant woman (or, more likely, someone sent to the countryside to labor) studies while her daughter sleeps. Mao's collected works sit on the shelf, and her room is decorated with certificates of merit. On the wall hangs a poster of a revolutionary heroine to inspire her, just as she is meant to inspire us. She is writing an essay on male-female relations. Although acceptable subjects were limited, studying was encouraged, except for those who showed too much aptitude. The implications of the scene are bleak: there is no escape from ideology even in your own room late at night. Nevertheless, the picture still has a restful air and the sleeping child, at least, is free to dream.
Yiman Liu
Last modified: Sun Jun 24 10:55:20 CEST 2001