Wednesday August 12, 2020

May 19-June 17, 2018
Washington, DC


An exhibit showcasing photos and posters depicting China’s Cultural Revolution was on display from May 19-June 17. The exhibit provided background information, descriptions, and visual depictions of this 10 year period of chaos and destruction.

The Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution took place from 1966 to 1976. A cult of personality formed around Mao Zedong and the Chinese youth were encouraged to fight against anti-revolutionaries. The Red Guards, Mao’s young revolutionary supporters, were called on to “smash the four olds” — old ideas, old culture, old customs, and old habits. A level of lawlessness descended as Mao’s followers violently targeted individuals, places, and symbols viewed as anti-revolutionary. Often acting without direction, various factions of Red Guards even turned on each other. During the Cultural Revolution, schools were closed, churches and cultural relics were destroyed, children turned against parents, and a generation of China’s youth was lost to violence.

After Mao Zedong’s death, the Cultural Revolution officially ended and Deng Xiaoping came to power, using economic reform to help bring the country back from this destruction. Now, however, the Cultural Revolution is seldom discussed in China, even though today’s leaders, including President Xi Jinping, were shaped by having grown up during the Cultural Revolution. With Xi Jinping gaining in power and promoting his own personal leadership, something that had been avoided after the disastrous results of the Cult of Mao, it is more important than ever to remember the Cultural Revolution. After all, its aftereffects are still being felt in China today and if this tragic time is truly forgotten, what will prevent the new leadership from making the same mistakes? This exhibit aims to remind viewers of this horrible chapter in China in the hopes that by remembering it, these tragedies will not be repeated.

This exhibit is sponsored by the U.S.-China Policy Foundation (USCPF). Founded in 1995, USCPF is a non-partisan, non-profit, organization that promotes a greater understanding between American and Chinese policymakers, researchers, and government officials. For more information, you can visit their website at

Dates:  May 19-June 17

Location:  American University Katzen Arts Center, Lobby Rotunda, 4400 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC

Times:  7:00 AM-10:00 PM daily

Tickets:  This exhibit is free and open to the public

Exhibit Flyer:

Exhibit Brochure:

Press Release:

Press Release (Chinese):