The sculptures are excellent examples of socialist realism with amazing detail and artistry. The exhibition was hugely successful during the Cultural Revolution. Created by a team of sculptors from a local art academy, its works were remade and used as models for another and larger display in Beijing.
Here we are looking at some of the photos from a book published in the People's Republic in 1968 that promoted the exhibition and its themes.I have included short blurbs that give an historical backdrop as well as maps of the region and manor.
(Click on images to enlarge)
An elderly peasant with no remaining family offers up her last possession,
a hen, to try to pay the rent.
The crushing load of rent
We will settle accounts one day
A widow's grain must all go to rent
An old man is kicked to the ground
when he cannot meet the landlord's henchman's demands
She stiffens with anger at the sight of such cruelty
A little girl empties her family's grain into the winnower
The landlord's thugs beat the man for trying to keep some of his grain
Only on basket of grain left
Preparing for the Peck Measure
What kind of a world is this?
A peasant counts his tally sticks and hopes he can pay his debts
Screaming out at the landlord's injustice
A henchman and a Kuomintang soldier hold back a peasant's son
The peasants burn with anger
Class brothers, unite to settle accounts with the landlord!
A mother is torn away from her baby and family
A blind peasant is forced to sell his granddaughter into bondage as a servant
A family is broken up as a man is dragged
away from his house for failing to pay his debts
He is determined to destroy the landlord's den with his ax
We must smash the old system!
Seizing the guns of the landlord's thugs
Marching into the mountains under the banner of the Communist Party
to wage an armed struggle against the landlord's tyranny
Only revolution will tear down the rent collection courtyards
Joining the guerrillas in the mountains!
The red flag of revolution!
United as one the army and people are invincible
The landlord Liu Wen-tsai is captured
Red political power will be handed down from generation to generation!
See also: Labour and Struggle (1960) - Technology, Innovation, Art and Popular Resistance in Chinese History
See also: Leonard Hutchinson and the Social Realist Art of Canadian Working Class Resistance in the 30s