Created 2-Jan-08
Modified 2-Jan-08
8 photos
A small selection of photographs taken by Chang Song during the first half of the Cultural Revolution (~1966-1976). These were part of an exhibit entitled Yesterday 昨天图片展 in the Suoluo Gallery in one of Beijing's Art Districts (the Caochangdi yishuqu 草场地艺术区, to be precise) during July and August 2007. These (very large, and very high quality) images famously capture the spirit of the times.

The six photographs shown here (not counting the introductory banners) are part of several somewhat larger sub-series; for instance image 5 is part of a sub-series on "conferences" 会议. I found this particular image to be especially striking - the faces in the audience (listening no doubt to a lengthy educational speech by the local party secretary) express what I can only (somewhat paradoxically) describe as a numb and tired form of attentiveness.

Images 7 and 8 remind us that People's Party Congresses used to be hugely didactic spectacles, with choreographed mass participation and mass rallies all over the country. As the recently held 17th People's Congress demonstrated (end of 2007), these days are long gone.

All photographs taken with the Olympus E-330.

Thomas H. Hahn
Ithaca, NY
Entrance banner to the exhibits at SuoLuo Gallery 娑纙花舘Blackboard announcing the exhibit "Yesterday"Chang Song 常宋: Sunlight Road 阳光大道 (late 1960s)Chang Song 常宋: Five Seven Cadre School 五七干校 (late 1960s)Chang Song 常宋: Conference series 会议系列 I (late 1960s)Chang Song 常宋: Colorful Dancing Boat 彩船 (late 1960s)Chang Song 常宋: Celebrate the Ninth Party Congress 万人庆九大 I (1969)Chang Song 常宋: Celebrate the Ninth Party Congress 万人庆九大 II (1969)