Supplementary collections

1967-Changan Rally C


With his Beijing residence within five minutes walk of the Tiananmen Square Sigurdson had ample opportunities to directly observe the manifestations of the Cultural Revolution. This brought him in direct contact with the Red Guards who were amassing in the lane (hutong) outside his house and in the adjoining streets before marching to the Square to pay tribute to Chairman Mao. On seven occasions Tiananmen was completely filled with more than one million Red Guards. They were waiting in tattered shoes, many without any socks, in early winter mornings sipping hot tea that was served from provisional canteens. Mingling with the animated young people Sigurdson often brought his Leica M3 camera.


Comic books

Included in his collection of artifacts from the Cultural Revolution Sigurdson also has assembled a number of Chinese traditional “comic books” — Xiao Ren Shu. They used to be popular reading and were printed in large numbers.

A small selection, included here, illustrates classical themes, revolutionary operas, movies popular at the time, or more practical things. One booklet would describe building deep underground shelters to prepare cities from a perceived military attack from the US that at the time became deeply involved with its war in Vietnam. Many of them depict heroes often from the Liberation Army.

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