Smash the Old World!

Huang Yongyu (see also the Enemies section of Living Revolution)

Artist and writer Huang Yongyu is one of China’s most famous cultural figures of the last half-century. He was a professor at the Central Art Academy, and became one of the principal targets of the Cultural Revolution. Mao Zedong's wife, Jiang Qing, helped organize the Black Painting Exhibition, which featured Huang's works. Huang was incarcerated in a makeshift prison referred to as ox-pens since the prisoners were called, in Mao's terms, "ox-demons" and "snake-spirits." He was later exiled to the countryside.

"A Can of Worms" is a collection of aphorisms and witty lines that Huang distributed among his friends; some of the writings made humorous use of Party jargon. In the summer of 1966, these private writings were declared to be counter-revolutionary. Huang was criticized, denounced in public meetings, and severely beaten.


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