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Punishing Liu Wencai

Landlords were a prime target of the Red Guards, as they symbolized China’s feudal past and were accused of greedily abusing their tenant peasants. In this sculpture, Liu Wencai, a wealthy landlord and merchant from Sichuan, is subjected to a struggle session. During the land reform movement in the 1950s, the Communist Party began to vilify landowners to promote their campaign of class struggle and land redistribution. Liu, along with other notable landlords such as Zhou Chunfu, was portrayed widely in Party propaganda as an archetypical evil landlord, a corrupt and merciless exploiter of peasants. However, it is unclear how many of the crimes Liu is accused of were actually true and how many were fabricated.
20th c.
31.8 x 22.5 x 14.6 cm