No items found.
No items found.
No items found.

Man can rearrange mountains and rivers

In a 1945 speech given at Yan’an, Mao exhorted the Chinese people to take collective action to fight against the “twin mountains” of feudalism and imperialism. His speech was based on a Chinese folk tale, “The Foolish Old Man Removes the Mountains” (愚公移山), in which an old man attempts to move two mountains near his home. While many mocked him due to the impossible nature of his task, the old man replied that while it would not be accomplished in his lifetime, his children and following generations would finally be successful through perseverance and hard work. In his speech, Mao transformed the traditional folk tale into a theoretical underpinning: he believed through faith and hard work, anything could be accomplished. This mindset would be put in practice to encourage people to persevere in their political or economic endeavors, even against enormous odds. Later, Mao again used this theme in his essay The Foolish Old Man Who Removed Mountains. The essay was published in the Little Red Book along with two others, In Memory of Norman Bethune, and Serve the People, which became known as the “Three Old Articles” (老三篇). These works were widely studied, especially after 1966, when the CCP ordered all school children to study Mao Zedong Thought. This sculpture—a toiling, muscled man representing the People’s Commune, pushing against two stony outcrops—illustrates Mao’s belief of man being able to move mountains through sheer force of will and perseverance.
20th c.
36.2 x 43.9 x 13.3 cm