Bosshardt on the Long March, 1934
Mao used this Catholic Church as his headquarters when the Red Army passed by this small village at the foot of Gongga Mountain. Why did the Red Army repeatedly use churches and not Buddhist temples, as their headquarters, their residences and meeting places? Was the occupation a form of transcendence from a spectrum of colonization to a space of revolution, or was it perhaps a metaphor for lost and reclaimed space through spiritual cleansing?
During the Long March, a Swiss missionary named R.A.Bosshardt1 was accused of espionage and captured by the Red Army. After failing to obtain ransom money, the Red Army sentenced Bosshardt to eighteen months imprisonment and further, required him to serve his term as part of the Long March brigade. The Red Army’s revolutionary education’ was successful and over his one year ordeal, Bosshardt became converted to the ideals of the revolution. Upon the completion of his term, he was released and given travel expenses to return to Europe. He later wrote of the similarities between Communism and Christianity in his book, The Restraining Hand.
Children in front of the Church
Church congregation holding a service in rural China
Chinese newspaper’s angry response
toward the naming of 120 Chinese Matyrs by the Vatican
We will examine the role and repercussions of Christianity in China. Local and international artists will create works in the local Catholic church, juxtaposing objects, art works and texts that represent different ideologies to form a dialogue between the missionary and libertine, and the ensuing acceptance or resistance by the locals.
Bosshardt, The Restraining Hand, 1936
Liu Jin, “My Spiritual Home,” Performance
Liu Wei, “Let’s Get Happy Together,” from the event, Post-Sense Sensibility –Spree, 2001
Shi Qing, “An Apocalypse to Save the World,” CD-Rom, 2001