Big Mao Zedong Statue Looks Like Deng Xiaoping

Huge statue of Mao Zedong that looks a little like Deng Xiaoping.

A medical school in China erects a huge statue of Mao Zedong on campus. Some netizens complain that the statue actually looks like Deng Xiaoping instead of Mao. Other netizens argue about whether the school should spend so much money building so big a statue of modern China’s founder.

From “Embarrassing, Chongqing Medical University’s Grandpa Mao statue looks like Grandpa Deng“:

This morning, through my cell phone’s newspaper service, I read an article that Chongqing Medical University had erected a statue of Mao Zedong on its campus. At 37.4m tall with its base, they claim the statue is the biggest in China, and of course, the biggest in the world as well.

This is absolutely a big hit, people still make such huge statues of Mao Zedong now! So I called the president’s office of Chongqing Medical University. The man who answered told me that the Propaganda Department might be the right place to get details. So I called the Propaganda Department and was told by a teacher from that department that they were not able to provide any information to me. The teacher said that they were not in charge of the whole statue issue, but that the office of Chongqing Medical University was.

Isn’t that strange?

The teacher of the President Office asked me if I had seen the statue, and I said I hadn’t. He told me that even though the statue had been erected, it unfortunately does not look like Mao Zedong, but instead looks somewhat like Deng Xiaoping. So there are various views about the statue among teachers and students of Chongqing Medical University.

Grandpa Mao’s statue looks like Grandpa Deng!

[The original Chinese is 毛爷爷, “Mao yeye” which means “grandfather/grandpa Mao.” Ping says it means “lord” but I think that may be a little scary – Fauna]

Is the sculptor’s brain not in his head but on his bottom?

I did not find out who was in charge of this statue project (actually, who has the right to manage this project other than the head of the school?), or who was the master sculptor. If I ever found him, I would definitely slap him 10 times on his face driven by my bad temper.

Grandpa Mao just died 32 years ago, and he could not even remember what Mao looks like?

I looked at the news about the statue on the internet, and I got to see the pictures of the so-called biggest statue of Mao Zedong. One doesn’t know if one did not see, but one gets frightened if one got to see it. The statue does indeed look like Deng Xiaoping. The local news “The Highest Statue of the Chairman Made its Debut in the College Town, Can Be Seen from 5km Away” mentioned that this project started this July: “The sculptor workers sculpted the head and the body of the statue separately on a flat area 20m from the statue base, and joined the two parts by a crane in September. Afterwards, the whole statue was moved to the correct position, and lifted up to be put on the 16.8m tall (about as high as a five-floor building) statue base. It was only 20m from the statue to the base, but it took about 8 hours for the crane to move the whole statue horizontally to the base.

The paving and the gardening process have been carried out in the surrounding area, and a theme park will come out in near future. The statue, as a symbolic structure of Chongqing Medical University, will be seen from 5km away on a clear day: Chairman Mao looks straight, waving to people…”

With the Sichuan earthquake as a warning, the news article especially noted: “The whole statue is fixed by eight 2-chi (Chinese unit of measure, one chi equals about one-third of a meter) long concrete pillars and sixty four caliber 5cm screws. Steel holders are set in the hollow inside of the statue. “The statue would stand firmly, no matter how strong the geological disaster or storms might be.”

In the interview, they claimed that the purpose of erecting this was “to encourage and give confidence to people in their teaching and educating careers, to arouse the students’ respect and admiration for the national elites, and their patriotic passion for the country, and also the most representative symbol of China is the statue of Chairman Mao.”

But the news article said nothing about why the statue of Mao Zedong was make to look like Deng Xiaoping. Maybe there is not even one single media in Chongqing that can ever remember Grandpa Mao’s look. I will keep paying attention to this whole statue issue, and I strongly desire to pull down this “poorly resembling” statue. Other actions, such as re-sculpting it or something, we can talk about later.

To summarize, I still have some points to make:

1. The current trend – that people have been getting passionate about Mao Zedong again – and the Equalitarianism and the spirit of national self-improvement contained in Grandpa Mao’s name are the school’s main driving force in erecting this statue, which of course needs to be approved.

2. The purpose of erecting this statue can be questioned as Chongqing Medical University just wanting to make it as a “Face Project” (to make the school look good). The school stressed on the “biggest” in its denationalization, but they had never thought that they could get a lime sculptor who didn’t do a good job of making the statue look like Mao. I think it is similar to the situation that some elites quickly renege when they are in a crisis. Even though they made a statue for Grandpa Mao, I don’t think their hearts are sincere.

3. There is not even one single sculptor who can sculpt a statue that looks like Mao Zedong in the metropolis of Chongqing with a population more than 10 million? How can they still dream of talking about the significance of Mao as the “most representative symbol of China”? This is truly a collapse and desolation of contemporary art in China.

4. It is impossible that they did not spend tremendously on such a giant Mao’s statue, “one foot is about 3 square meters, and has a capacity for 6 people sitting on the top”. How about the black trade and corruption behind it? It is necessary to investigate things like that. I believe if the statue was built according to an open system monitored by people’s own eyes, at least the “resemblance” part could be guaranteed. Can’t it be proven that the construction process was not done in public, because the statue does not look like Chairman Mao?

5. Mao Zedong is the great symbol of the nation of China, and his statue can’t be made by anyone who just wants to make it. I suggest that our country needs to issue a clear law for erecting great people’s statues, and a strict inspecting system as well. The national symbol Grandpa Mao should be respected as much as it should be respected. No one should be allowed to mess it up again.

6. To build a statue to memorialize people is a heavy and expensive job, and should be ceased from now on. The real great statue of Grandpa Mao should be erected forever in the people’s hearts, in my heart. Now the economy has been suffering deflation. If Chongqing Medical University didn’t make this statue, wouldn’t it better to use the money saved (5 million RMB by rumor) to build some “Hope Primary Schools” in the area that got ravaged by the earthquake earlier this year?

The huge feet of a Mao Zedong statue at a university campus in China.

Comments on 司马平邦 (Sima Pingbang)’s blog:

We like Mao, but we don’t like that Mao got insulted like this. The statue should to be re-done.

It was ridiculous/unreasonable to have started this in the first place. Would it not have been better to have a statue of Confucius in a university? It is even more ridiculous that they managed to get it done. The sad thing is no knowing how many generations of students will be paying for this.

I still think the statues in Western universities are more interesting.

Modeling a great person’s statue is a very serious undertaking. It should be strictly monitored, and should be modeled to look like the actual person.

The real great statue of Grandpa Mao is erected and will forever be in the people’s hearts, in my heart.

How students’ wallets were extorted? How many university students worry about having enough meal tickets? How many parents have been leaving their homes, drifting from place to place [as migrant workers] to make money for their children ‘s tuition?

After the Sichuan earthquake, there is really no need to do something like this.

This man liberated the Chinese people and now people are complaining that 5 million was spent making a statue for him. Chinese people should feel sorry for themselves. These people will not even recognize/acknowledge their ancestors, so what reason do they have to talk about others.

I do not think it is necessary for everyone to criticize. I feel it is worth it. Everyone, please try to see further.

Hilarious. Maybe all people look the same to doctors, so Chongqing Medical University sculpted this statue according to its Great Headmaster’s look.

It is worth spending some money, and I strongly support this! It will let Chairman Mao’s wisdom spread throughout the ages. What is bad about that? This is respecting history…

If it is okay to erect a statue for “Kong lao er” [a nickname given to Confucius in the Cultural Revelation, means the second child or a dork] statue, why not a statue of Chairman Mao? Different people have different minds and dreams, Chairman Mao is the greatest Han in the history of China. Besides, China’s top universities were all built in Mao’s time. If not a statue of Chairman Mao, then who?

If the ordinary common people voted, I believe the vast majority of people would support this! Remember the great people, every one give your support!

The Cult of the Individual [Cult of Personality?] has brought China serious disaster, we should no longer want to blindly follow so-called great men or heroes, the people are the ones who write history. L’ Internationale [the song of the proletariat] goes like this: “Never more traditions n’ chains shall bind us, Arise ye toilers no more in thrall, we shall create our own happiness.” [the actual Chinese lyrics are more like: “There was never any Savior, and we cannot depend on an immortal emperor, so to create humanity’s happiness, we must all depend on ourselves.” – Fauna] Deifying leaders goes against the basic principles of Marxist historical materialism. Long live the people!

Chairman Mao is the spiritual and ideological pillar of the Chinese people. Whoever says anything bad about him is definitely nothing good.

Ma Yingjeo worships Chiang Kai-shek, why can’t we make a statue for Chairman Mao….

I deeply admire the president/headmaster of this school. As a cadre member of the Party, he didn’t bite the hand that feeds him…

It still looks like Chairman Mao! But the Chairman also has a complaint!!! Has the Chairman been copyrighted??

Long live Chairman Mao!!!

Right now, China most lacks moral/ideological pillars. There are too many people worshiping foreign things and take things for granted. If people in China today don’t care/acknowledge/respect Chairman Mao, then…

Comments on Mop:

I never want to know what this old thing looks like. [This comment was later deleted by the Mop moderators.]

First floor [name for first reply, comment], you motherfucker! Without Old Mao Zedong, where would you be? You “niubi” bastard.

Mao Zedong admittedly is the founding father, but think carefully, us developing so quickly must still be credited to Deng Xiaoping!!! If there was no “gaige kaifang” [Policy of Reform and Opening Up], would we still have such a good life? Only in your dreams!

Please, do you guys know why Chongqing Medical University erected a statue for Grandpa Mao? You guys have never been to the Chongqing Medical University campus, so you all would not understand! I am not from Chongqing Medical University, but I still want to speak up for Chongqing Medical University here. It is possible the school might built it this large definitely in hopes of pleasing the public, but it could also be said to be a tradition. In the very first campus, there was a statue of Grandpa Mao that was also very tall and big, and had been built for a long time. At the time, I did not pay much attention to exactly when it was built, but it was definitely the most beheld building throughout the whole campus. So, it is understandable that CMU brought Grandpa Mao to its new campus. There is no reason to criticize, and it is not for you people to comment on!

The day when this statue gets pulled down will be the day China can be truly called strong!!

It was just a statue, and people have been arguing over it. Every one has an idol. Some people like Mao, Some like Deng. I like Deng personally. It is good that you guys were not born in the US. The statue in New York is a female, and some of you might say,” fu*k, who had made Washington a woman? Washington was male!” The statue doesn’t change Washington’s gender.

Let’s worship nobody. The ordinary common people shall just get by and survive this way!

There was an event that had happened in 1989 (That event was carried out because of someone’s order).
I don’t know how many of you who gave comments earlier still remember or know this event. All are post-80s, what do you guys know!
You do not know what real communism is
Go and study hard.
Well, of course, Chinese Characteristics is another kind.
Forget it, there few post-80s people who will understand.

History can’t be twisted by one individual. Old Mao was great, but he was just a man, not god. What old Mao had done had been remembered in history of China, and even history of the world… Behave yourselves with honest and kindness, don’t behave like crazy dogs.

I worship Mao. He ended the 10-year-long Cultural Revolution. He led us to reform and opening, which make us rich; he required that China needed to develop the economy, which improved our life. During his reign, the economy of China had been developing so quickly, and the pace was even faster than the Britain and the US. Almost no one suffered from hunger. I even want to suggest the central government to make the day of his death the National Day/ National Celebration Day.

NB! Those who can become emperors are not ordinary people! Those who verbally abused in this post , are you leaders of anything?

Grandpa Mao was a great man.
Grandpa Deng was also a great man.
Grandpa Mao made mistakes.
Grandpa Deng also made mistakes.

No matter what,
those who maligned Grandpa Mao or Grandpa Deng in this post,
do not know how wretched they themselves are.
Please look in the mirror.

To illustrate:
Most people’s parents love their children.
But most people’s parents also have shortcomings.
For example their tempers are bad, discipline their children too harshly,
do not communicate well with you, talk about family democracy,
or are unable to provide you with good clothing, food, or schooling.

What qualifications do you have to defame them?
They gave a lifetime of labor and struggle…
to amass some savings bit by bit some for their poor family,
so your life will not be harsh like their’s starting from zero.

Those accustomed to defaming…
only hate that they were not born in Bush’s family, holding a golden key [born with a silver spoon],
with two parents who can give them anything they want.
I want to say it is too bad you were not born in a poor Mao-less, Deng-less Africa,
or a Mao-less, Deng-less Qing Dynasty era,
to see if you still have the strength to viciously defame after starving.

What contributions have you made for this family?

To be nice, one could say Mao was an idealist, like his poems were overwhelming and majestic. However, he operated everything only according to his own imagination, and of course he ended up messing up tremendously. The harm that the 10 years of Cultural Revolution did to civilization and psychology was no less than the 100+ years of humiliation before, and even maybe more.

Seeing our ancestor’s treasures in foreign museums and auction houses makes my heart sour, but the history that vanished into thin air in the middle of the Cultural revolution makes my heart hurt. Even the burning of books and burying of Confucian scholars by the first Emperor of the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang, was not as horrible. Deng was a realist, having risen and fallen three times each, and her took the road of capitalism. This produced a lot of bad things, but speaking from the conscience, has the ordinary common people’s lives improved?

Now, talking about communism is just like talking about Utopia. Everything done for the people and everyone living better lives is the inescapable truth. Whatever ideology allows the ordinary common people to live comfortably and in good health is a good ideology. As for statues, is there really a need? Whoever the people love and hold in esteem will naturally be remembered in their hearts.


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Written by Ping

Ping, a native of China, grew up near Mount Everest and is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in the US. Her interests are news reporting, column writing, and media ethics. Ping’s exposure to the Western world has allowed her to observe many cultural differences when compared to Eastern society as well as some misunderstandings about China in particular. Her experience motivates her to seek a career as a journalist in Tibet after she completes her studies in America.


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