“Breaking a Han Dynasty urn” is the title of the photo taken by the often jailed Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. What do you suppose he intended to say with this photograph?
On to Spence and of course the protests of 1989. The protests of course don’t fall out of the clear blue sky. Though the excuse was the death of Deng’s former compatriot Hu Yaobang what was the “real” or longer term reason for the events?
Interesting at the opening of the chapter of how all the changes and reforms in China, like getting rid of the communes, weren’t really seen as completely positive. China was in a muddle in many ways, and despite economic growth of even recent years, might still be.
There is a lot here. The Not-Not manifesto is interesting. The “communist weeds” vs. capitalist seedlings, and a literal return to 100 flowers.
Enjoy your final read of Spence.