Saturday, January 10, 2009
重温2007年阿罕布拉市“毛像事件” Revisit 2007 Mao's Portrait Incident in Alhambra City Hall
Revisit 2007 Mao's Portrait Incident in Alhambra City Hall
Artist: Jeffrey Ma
Confronting Bodies: Alhambra, California city officials, exhibit organizer Pinki Chen
Date of Action: February, 2007
Specific Location: Alhambra, California
Description of Artwork: Jeffrey Ma's screen prints were made in honor of the Chinese New Year and the twentieth anniversary of Andy Warhol's death. In the piece portraits of Mao are juxtaposed with portraits of George Washington. Their faces are superimposed over piggy banks in reference to savings and wishes of good fortune that are associated with the Chinese New Year. Ma chose Washington and Mao because their faces both appear on currency.
Description of Incident: Jeffrey Ma's screen prints were exhibited along with about thirty other pieces honoring the Chinese New Year. The exhibit was shown in the lobby of the Alhambra City Hall. City Hall received a couple of complaints from people offended by the juxtaposition of Washington and Mao. The City Clerk who coordinates city art exhibits says the piece was taken down on the recommendation of the exhibit organizer Pinki Chen. Chen, however, says the city staff made the decision to remove the piece. The artists in the show asked the city to put the piece back up but after receiving no commitment they completely dismantled the exhibit in protest.
Results of Incident: First Amendment organizations have come to the defense of the artists and the exhibit organizer and some city officials have said removing the piece because of a couple of complaints is not correct procedure. There are, however, no plans to re-hang the exhibit.
Submitted By: NCAC
LA Times' Article about My Protest
邪恶的猖獗是因为良德的沉默。 --- 无名者
The triumph of the evil is because of the silence from the good. --- Unknown
Though a small victory, it is nonetheless a significant one.
My friend Henry Zhang and I protested in Alhambra City Hall over the portrait of Mao side by side with the image of George Washington resulted in the removal of the paintings. I urge all of you, the good people with soul and conscience, to battle evil whenever and wherever you see it.
I now paste the LA Time's article (2/24/07) here for all of you to read. I hope you will post your own views and opinions here about the incident.
Best. Kai Chen 陈凯
They're seeing red over Mao
After a complaint, Alhambra evicts a Warhol-style painting of the communist leader. It inspired anger, amusement.
By David Pierson, Times Staff Writer
February 24, 2007
Mao Tse-tung's image has received the iconic Andy Warhol treatment. It's been plastered onto tens of millions of kitschy cigarette lighters, medallions, watches, T-shirts and snow domes.
Yet when a painting bearing the former Chinese communist leader's visage was displayed this week as part of a lunar new year celebration in Alhambra, it set off a debate in Southern California's Chinese community about ghosts from the past and the promise of the future.
A former basketball player for China's national team demanded the city remove the painting, saying the display romanticized a despot responsible for the death and suffering of millions of Chinese. The artists behind the exhibit agreed that Mao was a tyrant but countered that Mao brought about a new era of Chinese nationalism, one that would springboard the nation into modern times.
The debate bounced from holiday dinner banquets to Chinese-language talk radio after organizers of Alhambra's Chinese New Year festival — set to begin today — decided to remove the artwork from City Hall.
Many of the immigrants, who make up America's largest Chinese community, arrived in the San Gabriel Valley to get away from the repressive thumb of the Chinese communist government. And for decades, the community had an undeniable anti-communist bent.
But with the economic rise of China and the passing of generations, Chinese Americans have come to admire what the country has become while still being wary of the government.
Two years ago, a Chinatown businessman raised the red Chinese flag atop a building — a move that just a few years earlier would have certainly generated protests but ended up causing little rancor.
But the Mao paintings touched a chord.
Although some admit they have a conflicting view of Mao — not only recognizing the suffering that occurred under his rule but also his role in guiding China into becoming a global power — most are wondering what the fuss is all about.
They see the spat as overblown and are questioning how a single complaint could result in the removal of the artwork.
"We live in America. We see caricatures of George Bush and George Washington all the time. What's the big deal?" said Philip Young, president of the Chinese American Citizens Alliance Los Angeles Lodge. "I'm for free speech."
Some say it's too late to change the perception of Mao.
"He's such a pop icon, like the image of Che Guevara, that it has less meaning," said Patrick Lam, owner of Munky King, a toy art store in Chinatown.
The store recently sold out of a vinyl bust of Mao with Mickey Mouse ears. Lam tried to give the $200 item to his mother as a gift, but he said she was uneasy with the piece knowing that her parents had lived through the Cultural Revolution.
Charlie Woo, a toy manufacturer and a member of the influential Chinese American organization Committee of 100, said China's economy had taken more of the sting out of Mao's legacy.
"With China's turnaround, I think his harsh image has been softened," said the Hong Kong native who remembers nothing but vitriol for the communist leader when he lived in the former British colony. "I saw the story about the art exhibit in the Chinese Daily News and wasn't sure what to make of it. I'm just watching with amusement."
In November, John Kong and a crew of three other artists — all from various Beijing art schools — started creating 35 silk-screen paintings playing off a Year-of-the-Boar theme with Andy Warhol-inspired renderings. At the request of a festival organizer, the paintings were put on display Feb. 1 at City Hall and were set to remain there until today's new year parade.
The exhibit went on without a hitch until last week when someone walked into the lobby and noticed among all the paintings of pigs one that depicted Mao and George Washington's images on piggy banks.
He told Kai Chen, the former basketball player who is now an author and real estate owner. Chen was so livid to learn that Mao was being displayed in a municipal building that he called the assistant city manager and demanded the artwork be removed. A day later on Feb. 16, the painting was gone.
"We didn't mean to upset anyone," said City Manager Julio Fuentes. "There's a lot of history in this city, and we want to respect everyone's rights."
Kong and the other artists were so appalled by the decision that they drove their van to City Hall on Tuesday and reclaimed all their paintings.
"We didn't even ask for this show; the show came to us," Kong said from his Canoga Park studio Thursday.
He said artists in China had been experimenting with Mao's image for nearly two decades, the beginning of a period in which confidants and aides were coming forward to humanize — mostly in a negative light — the late dictator who had otherwise been portrayed divinely.
"Time passes on," said Kong, 54. "There's no more big brother in China. You can't do magazines or launch a private paper, but other than that, you enjoy freedom of speech."
Chen, the 6-foot-7 basketball player who fled China nearly three decades ago, said that's beside the point. "I can't demand Americans who view Andy Warhol to understand what Chinese have been through," he said. "But I do demand Chinese not to forget what Mao did."
Chen said that speaking out about the paintings was important, especially at a time when the prominence of China is rising both in the Chinese American community and the United States as a whole.
"There's a very unhealthy tendency to water down what the communists did," said Chen, 53.
When asked about how his family suffered during the Cultural Revolution, Chen said, "Read my book."
The synopsis to Chen's "One in a Billion: Journey Toward Freedom," on Amazon.com said his family "endured political persecution during the most oppressive years of Chinese modern history — the Cultural Revolution."
Chen, who immigrated to the U.S. in 1981 after falling in love with an American exchange student, said he and his family were exiled to Manchuria in 1965 because of their ties to the toppled Nationalist regime and Taiwan.
"This is a moral issue. You cannot commercialize Mao," he said. "They will repress Mao's true image to save face and for national pride. This is a perversion."
Artists pull works after City Hall bans Mao
By The Associated Press
ALHAMBRA, Calif. — Artists featured in a Chinese New Year exhibit at City Hall removed their works in anger over the city's banishment of a piece depicting communist dictator Mao Zedong next to George Washington.
The remaining 30 silk-screen prints were taken down by the artists on Feb. 20 after city staff removed a Jeffrey Ma piece pairing Mao and Washington. It was pulled because some observers found it offensive, the city said.
"They don't respect art and they don't respect artists," Ma said.
Ma and the three other artists in the exhibit decided to take everything down after the city balked at putting the Mao piece back up. The artists also retrieved the Mao piece stored in the City Clerk's office.
Four Chinese-American artists paid homage to Andy Warhol in the exhibit, which was scheduled to run through February.
"If this place is not interested in us, we are not interested in this place," artist John Kong said. "I understand people can have strong personal reactions to certain things. It's not wrong to express what he thinks when he sees this art.
"The wrong thing is that City Hall took the piece down."
It was described as "innocent, thoughtless censorship, but censorship nonetheless" by Peter Scheer, executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition.
"The appropriate response is not to suppress the original speech, but rather to encourage more expression so that the public is exposed to all these points of view," Scheer said.
It wasn't clear who made the decision to take the Mao piece down. City Clerk Frances Moore said there was a complaint and the Ma piece was removed Feb. 15 "at the direction" of organizer Pinki Chen.
"She wanted it down. They didn't want controversy," Moore said.
But Chen said city staff simply notified her as a courtesy.
"They called me and asked me if it was OK. I told them, 'It's your decision'... I would never say we should take it down because of a couple of people," Chen said.
Alhambra resident Henry Zhang, 41, says Mao is China's equivalent of Adolf Hitler and his portrait should not be displayed in public buildings. "He took away other people's freedom," Zhang said.
"I can't believe I came to America to seek freedom, to see that hanging in the City Hall lobby," said Kai Chen, 54, a Los Angeles resident who emigrated from China in 1981. "It is unbelievably politically ignorant, politically insensitive to say the least."
The print was taken down after the city received Kai Chen's complaint.
Pinki Chen said the only criteria for the artwork was a tie-in with the Year of the Boar.
The print by Ma imposes Mao and Washington's images onto four piggy banks. Their images were chosen because their faces are found on money, said Qing Nian Tang, an artist whose work was also in the exhibit.
Two other pieces show the Red Army with pig's heads, wielding paintbrushes and bayonets.
Mayor Stephen Sham, who was born in China, said last week that he was not offended by the print.
"It's an art exhibit — it's not a history exhibit," Sham said. "I think we have freedom of speech."
Alhambra is 10 miles east of Los Angeles.
陈凯说此事显示了中国人道德的虚无。毛泽东是混世大魔王是人类的罪人，共党是邪恶的象征；而美国总统华盛顿像代表自由，是人类的救星。在美国钞票上印有“in god we trust ”，而不为“in goverment we trust”。中国人在共党统治下普遍为无神论者，完全不将上帝作为一种道德准则的存在，任意将上帝作为藉口的工具。所有中国人无道德可言，“胜王败寇”深深印烙在人脑子里，以为华盛顿也是“胜王败寇”的情况，而将两像并列，陈凯表示，来美国的许多中国人仍旧没有走到自由的世界。
陈凯表示，在中国长大的时候，每一个人都在告诉他是国家，文化与群体给予了个人生命的意义。但多年出访，终于认识到真理是刚好相反 ，“我们每一个个人每一刻都在用我们的思维与行为赋予国家，文化与群体它们的意义”。他看到美国的进步情况，决定为追求个人价值和理想，对自由的渴望，对信念追求而作努力。陈凯在其著作“一比十亿”“One In A Billion”传达了自己热情追求理想的努力，是他挑战共产制度成功的实例。他希望中国人能反省自己，发现个人价值，努力实践梦想。详情可上网站 www.freewebs.com/oneinabillion了解。
最后进行编辑的是 Kai Chen on Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:12 am, 总计第 1 次编辑
Kai Chen 发表于: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:01 am 发表主题: Supplemental Article
陈凯 Kai Chen 11/13/08 Reprint 10/17/2011
你能想象在崇尚自由的美国人们在“希特勒的烧烤”与“斯大林的欢宴”里无动于衷地欢笑吃喝吗？ 你能想象如果“胡志明餐厅”出现在小西贡，“金正日凉面”出现在韩国城，“卡斯特罗酒家”出现在迈阿密，什么样的事情将会发生？ 可是“毛的厨房”却起家在洛杉矶并延续了多年，无人指责与抗议。 这难道不是对所有热爱自由移民来美的华裔人的莫大耻笑与羞辱吗？
2007年春节在阿罕布拉市市政厅发生的“毛像事件”就已经向世人展示了某些华人的道德腐败与堕落。 那些所谓的华人艺术家们居然用“言论自由”作为借口将毛像与华盛顿肖像并列，寓意是专制邪恶的中共是与自由民主的美国同等伟大。 某些华人的“斯德哥尔摩症”似乎已经到了病入膏肓的程度。 被强奸过的人们居然高声唱赞那些强奸者，似乎没有强奸人们就不能延续后代，没有乱伦人们就不能建立家庭。 这是什么样的一种病态心理呀！
“毛的厨房”的产生正是这种华人病态心理的又一令人作呕的体现。 道德的麻木，道德的虚无，道德的腐败已在华人社区中蔓延成长。 似乎那些通过与中共一同腐败而取得经济利益的人们不应是人们唾弃声讨的对象，而应是人们羡慕效仿的偶像。 华人们的良知何在呢？ 是非、真假、对错似乎不在众多华人们的语言里。 强弱、内外、亲疏却成了他们的处世经典。 如果能用人们的血泪，屈辱，死亡提提人们的口味去烹调赚钱，那又何乐而不为呢？！ 如果中共毛匪能用杀人洗脑取得强权为华人们长脸涂脂，那又何利而不取呢？
我最好的朋友陈邦晓（一个出色的田径运动天才）在毛共的文革中死于政治迫害与对前途的绝望。 他那时只有十八岁。 我时常提示自己我绝不会忘记他的生与死。 我绝不会忘记毛共中共的罄竹难书的罪恶。 我希望每一个良知尚存的华人坚守你的道德底线，做一个有尊严的自由人。 我在此呼吁你用你的灵魂与行动抵制那些道德腐败的，与中共苟同的商业行为。
注： 我将在12月26日“毛的厨房”前的示威活动中分发“我的路”DVD （我在心灵上从奴役走向自由的真实故事）. 有关书籍与传单也将会被发送出售。
Boycott Morally Perverted Businesses
80 million innocent lives perished under Mao’s regime and the atrocities continue today in China. Persecutions of Falungong practitioners, Christians, Tibet Buddhist monks, human rights activists have been intensified before, during and after the Beijing Olympics.
We call upon all conscientious people in the world to mobilize and combat the increasing infiltration, encroachment and growing corruption by the Chinese communist regime onto American political, social, moral and civic landscape, and to assert American values of freedom, justice and human dignity.
These communist regime's activities include providing propaganda material and finance for the Chinese language schools in American to brainwash American-born youths, infiltration, bribery and intimidation of Chinese language media in America, establishing government funded "Confucian Institutes" world wide, encouraging civic moral corruption and immoral establishments such as "Mao's Kitchen" in the Los Angeles, manufacturing Mao's t-shirts and other Mao-related commodities, holding Mao's birthday commemorations, etc. In glorifying and commercializing Mao's (the biggest mass murderer in human history) images throughout America and the world, our very souls as dignified human beings are being degenerated and demoralized. A massive invasion of human decency and basic humanity is now taking place world wide under the government funding and meticulous planning of the communist regime in China. We as conscientious individuals must act to counter such insidious and pernicious scheme.
Kai Chen 发表于: Thu Dec 04, 2008 11:06 am 发表主题: Supplemental Article
Spiritual Poisoning to Physical Poisoning
- 再谈由“毛的厨房”而代表的华人病态心理情结 –
陈凯 11/15/2008 Kai Chen Reprint 10/17/2011
一棵有毒的树能结出营养人的果实吗？ 一个有毒的政体文化能孕育出有益人类的经济实体吗？ 一个病态的家庭能正向地引导教育它的子女走向伟大幸福的人生吗？ 一个精神与道德上扭曲的个体能有建设性的成就吗？ 一个专制邪恶的国度能是 一个伟大的国度吗？ 一个杀人如麻、强奸人意的专制屠夫能是你崇拜的偶像吗？
对华人的病态心理与道德上的混乱腐败，我一直有一种极度恶心与厌恶的感觉。 但2007年阿罕布拉市 的“毛像事件”与我近期发现的洛杉矶“毛的厨房”使这种恶心厌恶的感觉上升到惊骇的程度。 我发现华人们有一种惊人的精神世界与物质世界的隔绝分离。 “行尸走肉”的描绘自然地涌入了我的脑海。 当你细看这些“行尸走肉”的时候，你会发现在他们的眼睛里没有丝毫对生命意义的追求，对美好人生的渴望，对真实、正义、自由、尊严的崇尚。
这些“行尸走肉”也知道保护自己的后代亲人： 当他们呼吸着污染的空气，喝着肮脏的饮水，吃着有毒的食物，用着至癌的日用品的时候， 他们也会大哭着抱怨生活是多么地不公平，人心是多么地险恶，世道是多么地艰辛、、。 但也就是这些“行尸走肉”高呼着“中国伟大”去支持一个虐杀过几千万无辜的非法邪恶的党政。 “北京奥运”、“神七上天”、“三峡水坝”、、、 一个个使邪恶合法化的政治工程都是这些“行尸走肉”引为自豪骄傲的贴金长脸得化妆品。 由这些政治工程所构成的“精神白面”是这些“行尸走肉”每日吸食、赖以产生“伪道德心理高潮”的存在依据。 也就是说： 没有中国党政的“伟大”，这些“行尸走肉”就没有存在的心理靠山。
如果说在中国有谁“喜欢”毛泽东，我想这太夸大了。 但如果说今天在中国崇拜毛的人大有人在，我认为这倒是事实。 这就是专制社会人的心态与自由社会人的心态的鲜明对照。 在专制社会中没有人喜欢专制者，但大多人会崇拜专制者。 在自由社会中人们会喜欢或不喜欢被选出的执政者，但很少有人会崇拜执政者们。 “崇拜”在自由社会中只是对上帝与良知而言。 在今天的中国，没有多少人“喜欢”共产党政。 但在精神上，心理上，政治上，尤其是在经济上“依靠”、“利用”共产党政的人大有人在。 这些“行尸走肉”是些可怜、可悲、可耻而又可恨的小怪物。 他们也是共产党政赖以生存延续的基点。
今天中国党政对世界的危害看上去是物质的： 毒奶粉，毒食品，毒用品，毒水源，毒空气、、、。 但这些都只不过是一颗毒树上的毒果子。 中国专制邪恶的党政所精心炮制散布的只崇尚金钱强权的道德虚无的“精神白面”，以及那些道德沦落的毒瘾成性的“行尸走肉”才是今天中国毒化全球的罪魁。 他们既是害人者，也是受害者。
当你在抱怨毒奶粉害了你的子女的时候，你有没有问一问你自己是不是在每一天的道德选择中支持了，利用了，默许了，依靠了那个产生了毒奶粉的罪恶的文化与制度了呢？ 你是不是在用你的商业选择延续了像“毛的厨房”那样的道德腐败的企业生意了呢？ 请不要用你自身的不道德言行毒害你亲生子女的身心吧！ 婊子与牌坊是不能并立的。