Since the founding of New China, the land of China has seen rapid changes in science and technology, culture and people's livelihood. Thousands of years of old feudal customs have been broken, and people have lived a better life than the ancients ever dared.
Take travel, only a very small number of geographers and literary scholars in ancient times to travel around, such as the famous Xu Xiake and other people. But today, almost everyone will choose to travel on holidays to relax.
One of the essential destinations is Beijing as the political center - the capital.
Many middle-aged and elderly people even go to Beijing Tiananmen Square to watch the flag-raising ceremony, as one of the list of life, looking at the portrait of Chairman Mao hanging in the center of the Tiananmen Tower, that period of passionate burning years suddenly vividly ......
The Tiananmen Gate, formerly known as the Chengtian Gate, is called the "heart" of the whole of China, and has stood silently in the center of Beijing since its construction was completed in the 15th year of Ming Yongle, watching all the changes.
During the Ming and Qing dynasties, the Gate of Heaven was the place where major celebrations and national decrees were held, symbolizing the imperial power to say no, until the establishment of the Republican Government in 1912, when the Gate of Heavenly Peace flew from the "swallows in front of the hall" to the "people's home", and was transformed into a square where the people could walk freely by the implementation of Zhu Qiling's renovation plan for the old capital.
At this time, Tiananmen had not yet unlocked the precedent of hanging the leader's photo.
On August 24, 1928, the statue of Dr. Sun Yat-sen, who took the lead in proposing the Three People's Principles, was officially hung on the Tiananmen Tower, but the Republic was an eventful one, and after only less than two decades, Chiang Kai-shek boasted that he had repelled the war of invasion of China, and his giant portrait was mounted on Tiananmen.
The Tiananmen Tower has been endowed with a profound meaning symbolizing supreme power after two leadership photo changes.
At the same moment when Chiang Kai-shek's picture was hung, students in Beiping walked past Tiananmen Gate holding the slogan "Anti-starvation, anti-civil war, anti-persecution".
However, after the portrait of Chairman Mao was hung on the Tiananmen Tower, there have been many changes. Contemporary people are perhaps most impressed by the portrait of Chairman Mao at Tiananmen, an imposing frontal portrait.
According to the portrait maker Chen Shilin, who is the "master of darkroom", this portrait shows the "bone phase" of Chairman Mao's forehead, the wisdom lines are delicately depicted, the eyes are very bright, and the expression is extraordinarily soft.
Since its application on the Tiananmen Tower, it has been well received by the general public, and even Chairman Mao's daughter, Li Ne, was extremely excited to state, "This standard statue is really good, no matter from which angle, the Chairman is looking at you."
But the portrait has a reputation, has been improved after several iterations, there are several versions of the portrait of Chairman Mao in front, older people may still have some impression, here we simply list the first few classics.
For example, the first portrait of Chairman Mao was released on February 12, 1949 at the Peaceful Liberation Conference in Beiping, which was a time when there were many things to be done, and Chairman Mao himself was very busy with his day-to-day business, so he had no time to take care of the portrait.
Premier Zhou quickly hired a group of artists to hang the portrait of Chairman Mao on the day of the Liberation Congress, as a matter of expediency.
But the relevant personnel are too late to redraw a new portrait, only in the life of Chairman Mao had taken photos to choose, a photo with an octagonal hat, wearing military civilian clothes let them come to inspiration, will be made into a 4.6 meters wide, 6 meters high, weighing 1.5 tons of giant portrait hanging on the city tower.
After the successful completion of the peaceful liberation conference in Beiping, the people were very satisfied with the affable leader's photo, and felt that the spiritual power of Chairman Mao at the time of the revolution had been properly expressed.
But despite the hasty application of the portrait this time, its historical significance is extraordinary, after all, this is the first time the portrait of Chairman Mao was hung on the Tiananmen City Tower.
And more noteworthy is that the portrait hanging on the Tiananmen Tower was not only Chairman Mao, but also Zhu De, Lin Biao, Nie Rongzhen, Ye Jianying four national leaders, so many portraits of people is also the only time in the history of the founding of the country.
On July 7, 1949, people from all walks of life in Beiping commemorated the 12 years of the July 7 War by streamlining the portraits hanging in the Tiananmen Tower, keeping the two portraits of Chairman Mao and Zhu De, and removing the other three leaders.
Later, at the Founding Ceremony on October 1, 1949, the first portrait of Chairman Mao's life as a "blueprint" topped the Tiananmen Tower, but although the domestic community was more agreeable to this third version of the portrait, but a little too plain when involved in international diplomatic activities.
In January 1950, Chairman Mao visited the Soviet Union and participated in many state events in Moscow, which were covered by the media of various countries. This portrait of Chairman Mao and the photo of Stalin's grand marshal were chosen for the news.
Once the report came out, Comrade Sakong, who was then deputy director of the Central News Agency and director of the General Administration of Information, felt awkward holding the newspaper.
At that time, only to see Stalin's marshal look both gorgeous and powerful, while Chairman Mao's octagonal hat and rustic uniform was set off by the contrast is particularly strong. In order to avoid losing decency in diplomatic activities, Comrade Hu Qiaomu of the Bureau of Press and Photography intended to take a standard portrait specifically for the leader, Chairman Mao.
After receiving approval from the Party Central Committee, four reporters from the Bureau of Photography went to take pictures of Chairman Mao, but this picture, which Chairman Mao had purposely set aside time to complete, was not applied to the actual situation.
The reason for this is first of all the light of the shooting time and many objective conditions of the venue, after all, our country at that time photography equipment and technology is still very limited.
In addition, the journalists are also ordinary people, they are not exempt from the commonplace of Chairman Mao as a spiritual leader, now have the opportunity to see the true face of the idol, the excitement is also shaking hands, heart also thumping.
Although Chairman Mao has always been approachable, but the tension + excitement superimposed down, the photojournalist also played less well, so want to produce a perfect photo, the timing, location and three key factors can not be missing.
The photos taken could not be used, and Sakong and others were so anxious that they wanted to make up another photo shoot on Chairman Mao's schedule, but Chairman Mao had been busy with national affairs night and day, and could no longer spare a full time left for the photography bureau to carry out the shooting work.
After several research meetings, Sakon and others thought, "Why not find a photo of Chairman Mao and create a standard image through darkroom post-processing?"
Everyone said yes, Sakhon immediately began to look for the person responsible for this work, and at this time Chen Shilin was commissioned, without saying a word, into the pile of materials to find material. After several days of forgetting to compare, a photo of Chairman Mao meeting with national combat heroes and model workers made him particularly satisfied.
This photo was taken not long ago, Chairman Mao was extraordinarily pleased to see heroes and role models, his eyes shining and his demeanor lofty and solemn. Since it is a group photo, then Chen Shilin intends to crop down Chairman Mao alone, the middle also encountered the problem of the background curtain shade too deep, also by Chen Shilin with masking method of fine processing.
He made a dozen or so 12-inch photos with different contrast and shades, processed and trimmed the face and head one by one, and finally turned out the negatives based on this, and the new standard portrait of Chairman Mao after enlargement.
The staff of the photography bureau examined the portrait, all felt that the essence of Chairman Mao's spirit was expressed with great vigor, and the Zhongshan suit also highlighted his confident and resolute leadership temperament perfectly.
Sakhon couldn't help but say good things again and again, and after Chairman Mao's approval was also extraordinarily satisfied, it was immediately issued as the new Chinese government's official standard image of Chairman Mao, and on the eve of October 1, 19501, it was hung on the Tiananmen City Tower.
In the spring of 1951, the first volume of Selected Works of Mao Zedong was due to be published, and the central government decided to produce another frontal standard portrait of Mao Zedong for this purpose. Since Chen Shilin finished the second edition of the standard portrait extraordinarily wonderfully, which was widely recognized by people inside and outside the industry, the third edition of the standard portrait was also in Chen Shilin's charge.
Chen Shilin does not dare to sit on the merit book to eat the old capital, not the slightest carelessly once again to go through all the photos of Chairman Mao. After working with the staff of the Bureau of Photography to select one by one from the millions of photos, a group photo of Chairman Mao met the criteria of the frontal image that everyone thought.
Chen's previous successes obviously also gave Chen Shilin the confidence in the production of his photographs, and this time he boldly adopted the expression of the Pictorialist school of photography, cropping out Chairman Mao individually, repairing the details of his face and head, and replacing the background with light colors.
The Central Committee and the Bureau of Photography looked at the finished film and thought that compared to the previous version, this portrait not only showed the imposing appearance of Chairman Mao, but also, more unusually, expressed his amiable side through the light-colored background.
On October 1, 1952, the latest frontal standard statue was hung on the Tiananmen Tower, which was used and not changed again in the following years. Chen Shilin's fame was even greater, and with the merger of the Press Photo Bureau into Xinhua News Agency, he began to serve as the head of the technical and reworking groups of the Photo Department.
Time turned to September 1959, coinciding with the special node of the tenth anniversary of the founding of New China, the central government decided to shoot a new set of standard image to reflect the style of Chairman Mao.
On the eve of October 1, 1959, the central government gave the job of taking the latest standard images to Meng Qingbiao, a senior journalist in the photo department of Xinhua News Agency, and Hou Bo, a correspondent of Xinhua News Agency in Zhongnanhai.
Chairman Mao's time is still night and day all pounced on national events, the journalists came up with a way to set up a photography room near Chairman Mao's residence, to seize a Chairman Mao's rest time, you can three times to take pictures.
After the negative was developed, the result was still not satisfactory. Due to the problem of light and lighting, the light and shadow of Chairman Mao's face was not quite regular, and the overall light was not moist enough.
But the advantage is that this time the clarity of the finished film is good, Chen Shilin used the technical technique of reversal development copy negative, repeated processing and adjustment, the photo will be sent to the central government, the central leaders to Chairman Mao for review, after satisfaction to facilitate the celebration of the ten years of the new China, hanging on the Tiananmen City Tower.
Every time the Tiananmen Square is updated with the portrait of Chairman Mao, it is a big event for Beijing residents, and the whole family has to visit Tiananmen Square together, and then go home to exchange comments with relatives to keep up with the trend.
But then some Beijing residents noticed that this new portrait of Chairman Mao looked like it had only one ear and one eye that was out of perspective. In many people's opinion, the portrait of the leader must be perfect, and now there is a small problem in some details, which obviously needs to be improved again.
--For example, the portrait of Chairman Mao has only one ear, which can easily be interpreted as "biased" by those who are interested, while the eyes are looking upward to appear "blind to the masses", which will indeed make some people feel that it is detrimental to the glorious image of the great man.
The central government learned of this situation also attaches great importance, after review decided to immediately re-produce a set of standard photos of Chairman Mao, the version of the portrait to replace down.
The relevant personnel again thought of the production of Chairman Mao's portrait is quite excellent Chen Shilin, asked him to take the lead in charge of the production of a set of frontal standard photos showing two ears. Chen Shilin felt that the matter was important and contacted a photographer to use a telephoto lens to take a five-inch negative.
But due to the limitations of photography technology, the photo is only 1 inch. In addition, due to too much haste, Chairman Mao's collar was not organized in the shooting, also seems to have some impact on the view of the negative.
How is Chen Shilin going to deal with the negative, which is not sufficiently light-sensitive and still has heavy shadows?
He locked himself in the production room like an enemy, and after countless days and nights, he thought of the latest process of using the negative "through the positive copy", and repeatedly adjusted and repaired it for more than a week, and finally a new version of the standard portrait in black and white, three-dimensional layers and gleaming was completed.
Chen Shilin sent the photos to the Central Committee for review, and the leaders who saw the portraits were all very impressed, believing that Chen Shilin had understood Chairman Mao's temperament thoroughly. After it was officially hung on the Tiananmen Tower, it has been used until today.
Except for the eve of the 45th anniversary of the National Day in 1994, the professionals took down the portrait board to do some upgrading.
--From the initial 21 pieces of plywood and aluminum plates, it was changed to a whole plate, and the surface was made of flat glass material to highlight the transparency of the portrait, but the portrait itself has never changed again, thus becoming the "portrait of Chairman Mao" in the hearts of several generations.
Through the production of Chairman Mao's portrait, Chen Shilin has gained a high reputation in the photography industry, and he has even been called the "patron saint of Mao's standard portrait". For this praise, Chen Shilin also seems extraordinarily modest, he once said: "I don't dare to be a patron saint, it's just my job, that's all!"
Fame does not matter to Chen Shilin, and neither does money. To him, money is an extrinsic thing.
In a 2001 auction, a standard portrait of Chairman Mao collected by a collector was fetched a high price of $726,000. The most important reason why this photo fetched such a high price was a quote written by Chen Shilin on the back of the photo.
That is: the front standard portrait of Mao Zedong on the Tiananmen wall was processed and corrected by me in September 1964 and photographed, and provided by me to the Tiananmen administration for their use in painting. The photograph was made by me with the original base plate, so the layers of shadows and textures on the photograph are more prominent.
From this passage, we can see that the photo in this auction is the master copy of the photo that had produced the portrait of Chairman Mao on the Tiananmen Wall, and its significance and value are immeasurable.
After being shot at a high price, someone then reflected the matter to Chen Shilin, saying to him, "This is your work, you should claim your rights, or at least ask for half of the money!"
But after hearing these words, Chen Shilin just smiled and replied, "Even if I have this right, I don't want this money, people are taking Chairman Mao's photos as classic artwork to the auction."
In the opinion of many people, perhaps only a person of Chen Shilin's high moral character, who does not care about fame and fortune, can make such a perfect standard statue of Chairman Mao. So in a way, Chen Shilin and the standard statue of Chairman Mao are a kind of mutual achievement.
There is no doubt that the portrait of Chairman Mao in Tiananmen has now left a deep impression in the hearts of several generations, but perhaps many people do not know that this portrait has also been talked about in public.
In 1980, two years after the reform and opening up, a Western newspaper said that China's "Mao Zedong era is over" and that the Tiananmen Tower did not need to hang the statue of Chairman Mao. In response to this issue, the famous Italian female journalist Farage came to China to interview Deng Xiaoping.
You know, Farage is not a normal person, this person is known for interviewing the head of the sharp questions, the resume is extremely rich, previously in the diplomatic place once Kissinger questions down, this Kissinger later also said with chagrin: "Interview with Farage is the most stupid thing in my life."
Deng Xiaoping obviously also knew the intention of Farage's visit at this time, but he did not choose to back down, but replied decisively: "See you! Let me see, how good she really is."
Soon after, Farage came to Deng Xiaoping's office, but surprisingly, just after a simple greeting, she opened her mouth with a single question, and also went straight to the point, namely, "The statue of Chairman Mao on Tiananmen, is it to be kept forever?"
Deng Xiaoping heard this rather difficult questioning words, and did not hesitate in the slightest, simply replied: "Chairman Mao statue forever to keep!" Deng Xiaoping threw his voice, each word has a thousand gold weight.
--After all, the merits of Chairman Mao are always in the first place, and the efforts he made for the Chinese people cannot be erased, and in terms of our Chinese people's emotions, we all commemorate Chairman Mao as the founder of our party and country.
Therefore, even if the portrait of Chairman Mao changes, it will not disappear from Tiananmen Square, because the Chinese people will never forget the contribution that Chairman Mao made to the country. And after listening to Deng Xiaoping's answer and analysis, Farage was finally convinced by his objective and calm thinking.