SEPTEMBER 27, 1999 VOL. 154 NO. 12
Yu Youhan, one of China's best-known modern artists, is the creator of our cover. The art plays on his 1991 oil painting Chairman Mao in Discussion with the Peasants of Shaoshan, itself a recasting of a classic propaganda photo. Yu refreshes the piece here by inserting Deng Xiaoping and Jiang Zemin.
Cui Jian, China's best-known rock 'n' roll artist, writes about the 1986 concert at the Beijing Workers' Stadium that marked the birth of the country's progressive-music scene, and of his own career. Cui's most celebrated performance took place on Tiananmen Square in 1989, at the height of the student-led protest movement.
Jan Morris, perhaps the definitive writer on Britain's age of empire, contributes a thoughtful and colorful essay on Hong Kong's colonial past--and Chinese future. Morris is the author of many books, including a 1988 history entitled, simply, Hong Kong.
Wang Dan writes about the complex legacy of the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests. As a 20-year-old Peking University student, the soft-spoken idealist emerged as one of the movement's leaders. For that, he spent seven years in prison. Wang is now a student at Harvard University.
The Dalai Lama, spiritual leader of the Tibetan people, contributes a moving essay on his decision to flee Lhasa in 1959 and on the incompleteness of life in exile ever since. He also writes openly about his early interest in Marxism and argues that a genuine form of communism might actually have been beneficial for Tibet.
Ying Ruocheng contributes our lead essay, an elegant attempt to extract meaning from the tumultuous events of China's past 50 years. Ying, who served as Vice Minister of Culture from 1986 to 1990, is best known outside China for portraying a jailer in Bernardo Bertolucci's film The Last Emperor and Willy Loman in Arthur Miller's Chinese-language production of Death of a Salesman.
Wang Shuo, a former seaman who became a best-selling fiction writer, has been called "China's Kerouac." He pens our concluding essay about the changes that have come to his country during the past half-century.
Mian Mian, one of China's most shocking young writers, takes a lyrical look at the changes that are sweeping through the city she works and plays in, Shanghai. Known also as Kika, Mian Mian is the author of La, La, La, a frank, semi-autobiographical collection of short stories on Chinese sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll.
Fang Lizhi writes about China's efforts to develop the bomb. An early participant in that project, Fang is best known as an inspiration for the 1989 democracy movement at Tiananmen. After the crackdown he spent 13 months at the U.S. embassy in Beijing before being allowed abroad. He is now a professor at the University of Arizona.
Orville Schell, who chronicles Deng Xiaoping's dramatic 1992 swing through southern China, is a prolific writer about the country. He is currently dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California at Berkeley.
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