Visual deception and false heyday

In May, the mainland media recounted a story about a speech given by writer Mo Yan at the Nobel Prize ceremony: During the three-year famine, his mother was slapped by a commune member and bled from the corner of her mouth when she went to collect ears of wheat in a collective field, which Mo Yan described as one of the most painful events in his memory. Years later, when Mo Yan saw the perpetrators again, he wanted to take revenge and was pulled back by his mother. The writer claims that his mother’s forgiveness was the starting point of his life.

The article has generated a lot of discussion among more than 100,000 netizens. Some pinkos accused Mo Yan of glorifying his mother’s theft of collective interests, vilifying the guardians of public property, and that Mo Yan’s acceptance speech was “politically incorrect”. However, the Red Guardians’ denunciation of public opinion cannot conceal the real history. Yuan Longping, the 91-year-old top rice expert who passed away on the same day, had also publicly revealed the truth about the starvation of tens of millions of people during the three-year famine.

The purpose of suppressing the truth and putting a political curse on those who dare to speak is to turn lies into correct history, to dress up sins as great achievements, and to glorify and whitewash itself precisely by the Chinese Communist Party. When it comes to the embellishment of the obscene history of the Great Famine, we cannot help but talk about the deceptive pseudo-historical scroll “So Many Dainty Mountains”.

The Hungry Mountains Behind the “Lovely” Painting

In April 1959, the painter Fu Baoshi and Guan Shanyue were ordered to create a huge Chinese painting “So Many Delicacies in the Rivers and Mountains” to be hung in the north hall of the Great Hall.

The two artists took great pains to illustrate Mao Zedong’s “Qinyuanchun-Snow”: a close up view of the green hills and waters of Jiangnan, and a distant view of the scenery of the North, after drawing a small sample, “art director” Zhou Enlai said, to paint the “red sun”, symbolizing the Party and Chairman Mao. Chen Yi said that the picture should not only highlight the word “delicate”, but also highlight the “delicate” in the momentum of “more” ……

The entire scroll is 5.65 meters high and 9 meters wide, and it took more than four months to complete. From the Imperial Palace specially approved 30 Qianlong “zhang two phi” thick ancient Xuan paper, the cost of paper alone is 1800 yuan, when the average person’s monthly salary of only a few dollars. Tools used is the Rongbaozhai more than a meter long brush, ancient ink and pigment, the back of the painting with damask silk framing. A dozen brute force young man to build a three-layer frame to hang the painting to the Great Hall of the People wall. Signed by Mao Zedong’s inscription seal: rivers and mountains are so dainty.

In April 1959, about half of the country’s 16 provinces reported to the State Council that there was a shortage of food and 25.17 million people were starving. More than 10,000 villages had been destroyed.

In 1961, an official document from the Xinyang city center listed 45 cases of how village cadres brutalized the masses with horrific torture: hoeing their brains, chopping their fingers, piercing their ears with iron wire, carving their faces, sewing their mouths, branding their anuses with iron wire, sticking their vaginas with pine branches, pouring kerosene on them, burning their babies, burying them alive, and so on. etc. Eighty thousand people were killed and forced to die in the whole Xinyang area.

Peng Zhen, then secretary of the Central Secretariat, revealed the Central Government’s characterization of the “starvation deaths” in a national teleconference: “The starvation deaths in the provinces are a provincial problem, while the deaths in Beijing are a problem of the People’s Republic of China.”

This is perhaps the artistic underpinning and political height of the painting “So Many Mountains”.

The starving people ironically “Spring Release

In the fall of 1959, Li Keran’s ink and landscape painting exhibition named “So Many Lovely Mountains” toured Guangzhou, Shanghai and other first-tier cities. In the same year, in line with the Chinese Communist Party’s line that “literature and art should serve socialism,” the originally low-key and reclusive Li Keran openly claimed that “painting does not only rely on ‘vision’ and ‘perception,’ but more importantly, it also relies on the ‘sense of sight. ‘, but more importantly, he must also paint ‘what one thinks’, from ‘what one sees’ to ‘what one knows’ and ‘what one thinks. ‘.” In other words, to build a monument for the Red River and Mountains requires in-depth fieldwork and bold imagination.

In 1959, Li Keran visited Hunan, Hubei and Guangxi, and created the ink sketching painting “Landscape of Guilin” to create the illusion of a peaceful and prosperous world. During the same period, Li Keran also created a large number of red Chinese paintings, such as “Liupan Mountain”, “Long March”, “Ode to the Mountains and Rivers” and “The Redness of Ten Thousand Mountains”, taking the initiative to sing praises for the Party.

In 1960, he created his masterpiece “Spring Release”, which is called the mature stage of painting cows, and it outlines the happy idyllic life of a herd boy in an unrestrained manner. At this time, what the painter thought and saw and painted was absolute romanticism, without the slightest brushstroke of criticism of reality. At that time in Guangxi, due to the famine, there was already the phenomenon of cannibalism, and those who were eaten were often the peers of the “spring release” shepherd boy.

Writer Sha Qing’s reportage “vaguely Earth Bay”, describes a farming family, ate only the father and a pair of children left two children. The father drove his daughter out the door, and when the girl came home, her brother was gone, a layer of white and oily stuff floating in the pot, and a bone thrown by the stove. A few days later, the father added water to the pot again, and then greeted his daughter over. The girl was so scared that she hid outside the door and cried, begging, “Da Da (father), don’t eat me, I’ll give you grass, fire, eat me no one to do your work.”

According to Yang Jijian’s “Tombstone” record, the number of unnatural deaths in Guangxi during the Great Famine was 931,000, and the unnatural death rate was 4.63%, ranking 7th among the provinces in China.

At the second meeting of the 8th Communist Party Congress during the Great Leap Forward, Mao Zedong said, “To fight a war is nothing but to die. We have seen people die in wars, and there have been several times in Chinese history when half of the population was wiped out. Atomic war now has no experience, I do not know how many people have to die, the best left half, the second best left a third, more than two billion people left a few hundred million, a few five-year plan to develop.” Later at the Beidaihe Conference, Mao said, “After so many years of war, so many people died, no one can compensate for the loss; now engage in construction, but also a vicious war.”

When the red painters sang praises of the revolutionary rivers and mountains with their brushes, did they ever think of how much innocent people’s blood flowed there?

Red wine and meat stink, and there are hungry bones on the road

In the 1990s, writer Jia Pingwa’s novel “The Ruined Capital” included the phrase: “The revolutionary wine gets drunk every day.” Who would have known that this would be a true reflection of the life of the red painters during the famine 30 years ago –

In 1959, Fu Baoshi and Guan Shanyue went to Zhou Enlai to ask for wine to drink during the creation of “The mountains are so beautiful”, and Zhou approved two cases of Maotai wine, and it is said that the hotel attendant had swept out 120 bottles of wine from Fu Baoshi’s room. The group went on a 23,000-mile red journey, lasting three months, to create red paintings for the “Art Long March”.

The painters were treated with great hospitality in the provinces along the way, staying in suites, sleeping berths, first class cabins, watching opera and movies, museums, and visiting scenic spots, and the reception specifications were the standards of the delegates to the National People’s Congress.

Food and drink, sumptuous with good. In sichuan, the provincial party committee propaganda minister treat, dragon copy hand, Lai dumplings, fried gold cake, silver cake, fat sausage powder, sichuan camel cake, drunken konjac, bell dumplings, etc., “a total of more than 20 kinds of snacks served up. The first eat wolf gobble, later touching the stomach shouted can’t eat, but still end up ……” in Guangdong, the provincial party secretary Tao Cast personally banqueted the painter, and after the meal presented Fu Baoshi two bottles of Maotai ……

So the painters created a “immortal” picture of the thriving socialism: “People’s Commune is good, eat without money”, “Emei Mountain Public Canteen”, “Yellow River is clear”, Shaoshan group painting ……

But the irony is that while the beauty of the world was on paper, the painters of the Red Tour could not shield their eyes from the miserable reality: “On the roadside under the Ling Yun Mountain in Leshan, we saw the body of an old woman with ragged clothes and a yellow face, obviously related to a long period of underfed and malnutrition. Everyone walked past with their heads bowed ……” Yang Jijian wrote in “Tombstone”: “Hunger in Sichuan Province began in the winter of 1958 and ended in the autumn of 1962. Sichuan peasants were hungry for four whole years, the longest hunger province in the country.”

While the red painters embarked on an “artistic long march”, the 60 million people of Sichuan embarked on a long march of hunger. According to statistics, the famine led to 7,970,100 unnatural deaths in the province.

Red painter’s pain of the Red Dynasty

When art became a way to show loyalty to the Party, art works became a tool of the Party’s cultural abuse, and the Red artists who voluntarily gave up their right to independent thinking and free creation were destined to become political victims of the CCP.

Guan Shangyue, a representative of the Lingnan School of painting and one of the creators of “So Many Beautiful Mountains”, was criticized for “attacking socialism with unlucky plums” shortly after the Cultural Revolution began. He was not allowed to paint and was sent to the “May 7 Cadre School”. After his comeback in the 1970s, Guan Shangyue made all the plum branches in his works upward in order not to be criticized.

Fu Baoshi died of a cerebral hemorrhage before the Cultural Revolution. Less than six months after that, the Cultural Revolution broke out, the dead Fu Baoshi was named by Jiang Qing, his cemetery in Yuhuatai was destroyed, his home was raided, and his children were rectified. A professor at the Shanghai University School of Fine Arts said, “Fu Baoshi had the good fortune to die early, if the sky is not its years, his art will become what kind of a face, really can not let people worry.”

Li Keran, once the Cultural Revolution broke out, was imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party as a “reactionary authority” in the cowshed of the Academy of Fine Arts, his home was raided, his house was occupied, and his classic red paintings were criticized one by one as reactionary works. Li Keran was like “an old sparrow with a frightened bow”.

On August 23, 1966, a stormy day came to the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Ye Qianyu, Luo Gongliu and Huang Yongyu of the Department of Chinese Painting, Oil Painting and Printmaking were criticized by the Red Guards at the same time, and Ye Qianyu’s “Great Unity of the Chinese Nation”, which he created in 1953 to glorify the Party, was described by the Red Guards as “a bull and a snake surrounding Chairman Mao”. He was beaten to the ground with a brass-tipped trouser belt by the juniors, bleeding profusely.

In his “Reformation Diary”, Ye Changyu recounted that he was put into a group with Li Keran, Li Bitchan, Guo Weixuan and four others to clean the toilets, for which he later created a cartoon, “It’s Never Been This Clean Before”.

Huang Xiu, a painter in the military system known for his paintings of donkeys, painted “Lotus Dance” during the Great Famine to shield the starving people from the famine and to create the illusion of quiet years for the Chinese Communist Party. As soon as the Cultural Revolution began, he became the first painter in the national art world to be publicly named and criticized for his relationship with Deng Tuo, and was rectified by the CCP as a counter-revolutionary black painter.

In 1964, Shi Lu was branded as an anti-Party artist for his work on the film script Liu Zhidan, and later became schizophrenic.

A general had this to say about “The Battle of Shaanxi”: “Why is there only one man and one horse behind Chairman Mao? And standing on the edge of a cliff, isn’t that a cliffhanger?” In 1966, during the Cultural Revolution, the Chinese Communist Party took this opportunity to criticize Shi Lu. In 1969, he was forced to flee the country because of his opposition to Jiang Qing, and was caught by the revolutionary masses as a Kuomintang agent, twisted to the public security organs, and almost shot. He was nearly shot, but only after friends and a hospital certificate proved that he was “crazy”.


Decades later, the CCP is still creating a false peace and prosperity, but the difference is that the CCP has used the so-called reform and opening up to create the illusion of economic power and extend the tentacles of visual deception. However, its inherent gene of violence and lies has never changed color. Behind the illusion of economic prosperity is moral chaos, the price of a strong state is the weakness of the people and the poverty of the people, and advocating patriotism has become a new way to block freedom of speech.


Shuai Hao: “A Sigh of Relief! The Works of China’s Top Painters in the Famine Era,” Yanhuang Chunqiu
Yang Jijian: “Tombstone
Cao Shuji: “The Great Famine: China’s Population in 1959-1961