Pink Mao

2020
HD, color, sound, 22’30”

 

In 1999, shortly before the accession of China to the World Trade Organization, the People’s Bank of China issued the fifth edition of Renminbi banknotes, which are still in use. For the first time, a single portrait of Mao Zedong is featured on every denomination of Renminbi banknotes. The color tone of the largest denomination bill (100-Yuan) has been changed to a bright pink, in stark contrast to its greyish predecessor. Despite the fact that the 100-Yuan bill is actually pink, the People’s Bank of China officially claimed it was “red” and the bill is jokingly known as the “red grandpa Mao”. Pink is often stereotyped as a “feminine color”, while the male leader’s portrait is supposed to represent a strong masculine character, hence the juxtaposition of “Pink” and the “Leader’s Portrait” on Renminbi banknotes is worthy of further investigation. On the other hand, as digital payment methods gradually replace cash payments, banknotes are becoming “invisible”. Interwoven with contemporary everyday images and historical materials, this essay film contextualizes and discusses the representation of the Mao-portrait on the banknotes and the crisis it is experiencing in the digital age.

 

Screenings: 

13th Taiwan International Documentary Festival (TIDF), Taipei, TW, 2022

40th International Festival of Films on Art (FIFA), Montreal, CA, 2022

27th Vilnius International Film Festival “Kino Pavasaris”, Vilnius, LT, 2022

38th Kassel Documentary Film and Video Festival, Kassel, DE, 2021

64th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Leipzig, DE, 2021 

34th Image Forum Festival, Tokyo, JP, 2020 

 

Awards

Silver Dove in the German Competition, 64th International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film, Leipzig, DE, 2021

Award for Excellence, 34th Image Forum Festival, Tokyo, JP, 2020  

 

Download Press kit

 

tang han

DR0000 0063.00 01 12 09.静止020 -Pink Mao Tang Han still scaled -DR0000 0063.00 14 03 16.静止023 -
Tang Han Pink Mao 2019 Still2 -