There was a time when statues of Mao were ubiquitous, found on every college and factory campus, every government building, and every public square. In most cities they have disappeared from view, and only on occasion can one be spotted tucked away. There are only a few cities where he is still visible in public spaces.
Chengdu is one of those cites — Mao can be found presiding over Tianfu Square; and like locals in other cities where Mao still stands, the locals simply joke that he is trying to hail a cab.
CQ mary beth
my Chinese host dad in Chengdu designed this square. Im not sure if he had anything to do with the Mao statue, but he keeps a card of Mao in his wallet and told me he looks to Mao like a god. He told me this in 2005.
One of my foundest memories of visitng Chengdu was seeing this statue! Thanks for the mini-trip down memory lane. It has been such a treat to follow your trip! It was great to spend time with you and Noel while you were in town.
This makes me wonder if the Mao statue close to H.I.T. in Harbin is still standing. Some old Mao worshipping strongholds may have a difficult time pulling this iconic figure down. Tianamen Square still has Mao’s portrait, right? It may have some tourism value if it lasts long enough. If it were to come down, what would the people in Chengdu replace Mao with? Perhaps there is another dead “god” they might want to honor. Maybe it takes too much energy to pull this existing statue of Mao down. All food for thought.
When I lived in Chengdu (95-00), Mao would, as the students said, “get a bath” every two years. Scaffolding was set up and he’d be scrubbed clean. He always did look fresher afterwards!
That Mao is “hailing a cab” sounds like a cope joke.
CQ mary beth
Was Mao there before Tianfu Square? My Chinese host dad designed that square (according to his Chinglish)and in 2005 he pulled a picture of Mao out of his wallet and said he looks to Mao as a god. I didnt know if he put Mao there or if he was already there. Maybe i’ll ask next time i visit them.
CQ mary beth
so was Mao there before Tianfu Square or did he purposefully add him to the design? Guess we have a new topic of conversation next time im in town.
I saw him there in 1985. I’m quite sure the statue was put up in the 60’s, during the Cultural Revolution.
They would probably replace him with a statue of Steve Jobs.
In some ways it seems like yesterday, in other ways ages ago! We’ve covered a lot of ground since then. Thanks for your help.