Depicting the Foolish Old Man
Cultural Revolution depictions of the Foolish Old Man put greatest stress on one aspect: Mao Zedong Thought. This is the inspiration for the particular behavior and the strength of the New Foolish Old Men of Dashu (in the South of Sichuan), a sculpture completed in 1967. The collective achievement of men and women, old and young all working together to move all these huge blocks of stone is only possible with the help of Mao Zedong Thought: to provide literal illustration of this concept, a group is shown gathering to read during their break (ill. 4.9b). Next to this scene, a quotation board contains that significant sentence emblematic of the Foolish Old Man’s story’s spirit, “Be resolute, fear no sacrifice” (ill. 4.9c).