Sketchbooks from the Cultural Revolution

“Sketchbooks from the Cultural Revolution,” an installation, group exhibition “Shu: Reinventing Books,” at Contemporary Chinese Art, China Institute Gallery, New York, NY, USA, 2006; Seattle Asian Art Museum, Seattle, WA, USA, 2007


Artwork included in the installation

I was one of the millions of youth who were sent to the countryside from 1972-1976. There was no hope for our future, only hard work. Under oil light, I found my inner identity through these sketches in my darkest time. For four years, I completed 25 sketchbooks that display my personal feelings and thoughts during a time when labour was the only way for re-education to become a cog in the revolutionary machine. I did not want to be just another part of a machine, I wanted to be my own person who has an independent voice and has original thoughts. Through art, I was able to hold my inner-self to survive 10 years of the cultural revolution.