Beijing: An enraged Chinese sculptor is
suing an art professor for violation of
copyright by recreating his sculpture of a
sleeping Mao Zedong in another work called
Nightmare, a state newspaper said yesterday.
Wang Wenhai worked for the Revolutionary
Museum in Yan'an, in the central province of
Shaanxi, the heart of the Chinese Communist
revolution, where he devoted himself to creating
thousands of sculptures of the late Chairman
Mao, his hero.
Sleeping Chairman Mao, completed in 2002, has
the Great Helmsman wrapped in a thick cotton
quilt sleeping on a brick bed.
"Chairman Mao sleeps there like a big
mountain, that is my intention," Wang told the
Sui Jianguo, professor at the China Central
Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing, had invited
Wang to create the sculpture and even helped
paint it. And then, two years later, Sui's own
sculpture, Nightmare, featuring a bizarre dream
scene with a sleeping Mao in the middle, turned
up at an exhibit in San Francisco, the daily
Wang is claiming copyright infringement while
Sui's lawyer told the Beijing court the work is
an entirely different concept and therefore
cannot be an infringement.
Wang is also upset at Mao being humiliated.
"I was so angry I fainted," the Beijing Times
quoted him as saying when he heard of Nightmare
being exhibited in the States. "I said at the
time, 'ah, Professor Sui, why did you not tell
me? You are committing a sin. How can you equate
Chairman Mao with the devil?'"
The case continues.