MAO Soleum

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Ironic art dealing with the Chinese culture revolution and the Chinese communist leader Mao Tse-tung.

Mao Zedong, also transliterated as Mao Tse-tung and commonly referred to as Chairman Mao (1893 – 1976), was a Chinese Communist revolutionary, guerrilla warfare strategist, Marxist political philosopher, and leader of the Chinese Revolution. He was the architect and founding father of the People's Republic of China from its establishment in 1949, and held control over the nation until his death in 1976. His theoretical contribution to Marxism–Leninism, along with his military strategies and brand of policies, are collectively known as Maoism.

Mao Zedong was "one of the great tyrants of the twentieth century" and a dictator comparable to Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, with a death toll surpassing both. The People’s Republic of China under Mao exhibited the oppressive tendencies that were discernible in all the major absolutist regimes of the twentieth century.

Cultural Revolution was a socio-political movement that took place in the People's Republic of China from 1966 through 1976. Set into motion by Mao Zedong, then Chairman of the Communist Party of China, its stated goal was to enforce socialism in the country by removing capitalist, traditional and cultural elements from Chinese society, and to impose Maoist orthodoxy within the Party. The revolution marked the return of Mao Zedong to a position of absolute power after the failed Great Leap Forward. The movement politically paralyzed the country and significantly affected the country economically and socially.

Millions of people were persecuted in the violent factional struggles that ensued across the country, and suffered a wide range of abuses including torture, rape, imprisonment, sustained harassment, and seizure of property. A large segment of the population was forcibly displaced, most notably the transfer of urban youth to rural regions during the Down to the Countryside Movement. Historical relics and artifacts were destroyed. Cultural and religious sites were ransacked.

All in all a time of totalitarian terror. There are obvious parallels between Mao’s China, Nazi Germany and Soviet Russia. Each of these regimes witnessed deliberately ordered mass 'cleansing' and extermination.

MAO-soleum refers to the death of Maoism and is playing with the word “Mausoleum”.

As early as in 1980 the artist Thomas Dellert wrote and recorded his song “Welcome to New China “ where he visualized a new China with democracy and open free market. This vision still has to be realized for the many millions of people living in the vast country of China.

Thomas Dellert have traveled through China and have made his documentation of daily life, in both photographs and in a short film.