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Zhang Hongtu's art is the art of a traveler, the art of straddling boundaries. He was born into a Moslem family-on-the-move, which never quite belonged to any of the places it moved to. The ancestral home was Luoning, Henan province, but his grandfather Zhang Wenzheng had a fur and leather business (a typical Moslem trade in China), with a store in Xi'an and a residence in Pingliang, 100 miles northwest of Xi'an, in the northeast corner of northwestern province of Gansu and deep into Moslem territory. Zhang Hongtu's father, like many in the family, was devout and deeply involved in Islamic education, traveling about to start schools in the Arabic language. Hongtu's father, Zhang Bingduo (1915-2004), was given an Islamic education, sent by his own father to study Qur'an in Cairo for six years. On his return in 1938, he joined with other Moslem students in Chongqing, where he broadcast to the world in Arabic about the Japanese invasion. He soon returned to Pingliang where Hongtu, the second of four sons, with one younger sister, was born in 1943. Teaching, translating, producing a book on the sayings of the Prophet, and helping to establish Arabic-speaking religious schools kept Hongtu's father constantly on the go, north to Ningxia, south to Guilin, and then from 1947 to 1950, with the war against Japan over and civil war raging, the entire family was mobilized. Zhang moved with his father and the family from Pingliang in the northwest to Shanghai, Suzhou, and Nanjing in the southeast, and back north to Zhengzhou, at the same time as Zhang Bingduo twice went on Haj to Mecca. On the eve of the Communist defeat, Zhang Bingduo had tickets for the whole family to escape to Hong Kong, but a Muslim professor of history convinced him to remain in China and move to Beijing.

In Beijing, as Muslims, the Zhangs were outsiders looking in, never quite "there." From early 1950 on, Zhang Bingduo worked with the new government's Minority Affairs Association, serving as chief editor and translator for a government-run propaganda magazine in Arabic, Chinese Muslim. Eventually, in 1957, because of his language skills he was sent to work with the Xinhua News Agency and by 1963 was working for the Central Broadcasting administration. Zhang Bingduo also worked with the government-regulated National Muslim Association and rose to become its vice-president. But the family's religious and economic background increasingly became a serious political burden in the officially atheistic state. Officially, all religions were tolerated; in practice, says Zhang Hongtu, the official atheism of the state "mentally, psychologically destroys your beliefs. If the discrimination were physical, you'd be set back but you'd recover, you'd be even stronger. But this way the state destroyed Moslem people's identity." For the grandfather's "capitalist" background and pre-1949 association with the Nationalists ("basically just making the payoffs required to protect his business"), for the family's religious activity, and for his own public support of a multi-party system for China, Hongtu's father was branded a Rightist in 1957 and his mother, Zheng Shouzheng, lost her job. His father avoided being sent down for political reeducation, but learning Arabic was no longer welcome around the house, one could no longer pray five times daily, and talk of religion disappeared. Always a "fundamentalist" whose ideals combined strict Confucian and Islamic discipline, Zhang Bingduo afterwards became bad-tempered, "angry all the time, even worse than most Chinese fathers".

During the Great Leap Forward, beginning in 1958, things got worse. "For the first time," Zhang remembers, "I used my art as a weapon. In junior high school, they asked me to do a mural and I did a few, very simple, with the three revolutionary flags – the Great Leap Forward, the People's Communes, and the General Principle of Socialist Construction. I felt very proud of that. I felt different from all the others, an artist for the first time." But, when the famine set in as a result of economic mismanagement, ultimately to take twenty or more million lives through starvation, "we discovered all the hungry people, beggars from the country so skinny, with no clothes. Every single day, and you're so hungry yourself that you just couldn't sleep but so tired you can't wake up. We heard one thing from school and the newspapers but we saw something else from reality and we felt betrayed. You needed a scale to weigh out food to make sure there'd be some at the end of the month. I'd go with my father to the park to pick plants to eat."

In 1966, at the outset of the Cultural Revolution, the Muslim Association was disbanded, and after the Cultural Revolution ended, in 1976, when Zhang Bingduo was invited back to his old position, he refused, deeply disillusioned. The government's disingenuousness was, he said, just like the Chinese idiom, "hanging out a goat's head (advertising lamb) but only selling dog meat (gua yang tou mai gou rou)."

Zhang Hongtu, the artist, inherited his father's iconoclastic views of art. Fresh from Cairo at the outset of the war, the young Zhang Bingduo was introduced as an Islamic scholar to the Nationalist government's Minister of Education, Zhu Jiahua, in Chongqing and refused, as a strict Muslim, to bow with him before a portrait of Sun Yet-sen. The incident drew considerable attention and was brought to the attention of Chiang Kai-shek but was excused by Chiang and even appreciated by him for its religiosity. Later at an Islamic gathering, Zhang Bingduo shocked his fellow Muslims by demolishing a clay statue of the Prophet. The Muslim proscription against representational art was not widely adhere to among believers in Chinese, but the strict Zhang Bingduo was not a father who wanted his son to become an artist. Nevertheless, says Zhang Hongtu, "From childhood I wanted to be an artist," says Zhang Hongtu. "As an artist, I want to open a window for others to see through, and naturally, to be a great artist."

What is a great artist? "A good artist," he responds, "is a good player in an old game. A great artist plays outside of the game, changes the game, helps to create a new game for other artists to play." Iconoclasm with a twist. Zhang Bingduo, too, was no icon to his son. Given the official intolerance of religion in the 1960s, Hongtu's father resisted his artistic ambitions but could hardly advance his own iconoclastic objections to Hongtu studying art. At the age of sixteen, in 1960, Hongtu began his studies at the high school attached to Beijing's prestigious Central Academy of Fine Arts. Four years later, in 1964, with Mao's wife Jiang Qing attacking the Academy as "corrupt" during the Socialist Education Movement of that year, they ceased taking students and Hongtu began his professional art studies instead in Beijing's Central Academy of Arts and Crafts, the leading institute for commercial arts. Two years later, in 1966, the outbreak of the Cultural Revolution put an end to Zhang's art studies and political activities took center stage.

At the outset of the Cultural Revolution, Chinese trains were made available for free student travel throughout the country under the policy of "linking up" with the people. Hongtu became a traveler again, first training west to Xinjiang (to Urumqi and Wusu in Moslem territory, but all of the mosques had been closed down), and from there went to Guangzhou in the far southeast. In Guangzhou, however, the "linking up" program started to become unmanageable and free rail travel was quickly ended by the government. So with the famous Long March in mind as their model, Hongtu and friends decided on a "long march" of their own across the countryside, to use their art in behalf of the current political movement. As a "test march," Hongtu and one other friend first walked southward overland "to the sea," a goal they never quite reached. Then, together with the now-celebrated artist Yu Youhan, who was a year behind Hongtu at the Central Academy, a group of five marched north over rugged mountain terrain to the Jinggang Mountains in Jiangxi province, scene of Mao's first organizational activities in behalf of the young Chinese Communist Party. From there, walking week after week, Hongtu and one of his friends headed westward to Mao's birthplace at Shaoshan. Along the way, they bore flags and a portrait of Chairman Mao, held high at all times, and bore on their backs a heavy set of wooden printing blocks they had carved. At each of the villages they passed through, they ran off sets of propaganda prints on three political themes: "The Old Man Yugong Moves the Two Mountains" (Mao's propaganda tale about removing the dual burdens of feudalism and imperialism); the "barefoot doctor" Norman Bethune (from Canada, who rose above nationalism to serve the Chinese people); and illustrations to a text of "Serve the People." After their stay at Shaoshan, the two young revolutionaries returned by train to Beijing.
By the time of his return, the Cultural Revolution began to take its vengeance on the Zhang family. Hongtu was criticized as a "black sprout of revisionism" for his bad family background and for his strong interest in Western art and was proscribed from painting Mao's portrait. His "linking up" travels were "so happy," Zhang says. "Nobody bothered me at that time about my family background. It was nice to see the landscape, so nice for a city boy. But after this trip, I changed a lot. The bad part is, I saw people kill each other, literally. I began to ask, "Is this really the 'Cultural Revolution'?" I saw people put so many books all together like a hill and then burn them. I saw so many poor people, it was beyond my imagination. The reality of it didn't fit my imagination of the Cultural Revolution. I got back and instead of being a participant, I became an 'escapist' (xiaoyao pai)." In Beijing, the family home was searched for counter-revolutionary materials (not found) and Hongtu was obliged to criticize his father, "again and again, deeper and deeper. At first, I trusted everything Mao wrote. I found Mao's writings so idealistic that I followed him." But all this turned into a sense of betrayal.

"I had to criticize my own painting. I was denounced by my own friends with 'big character posters.' After that, you lose all your trust in people. One friend who was so good toward me but really was just spying checked out my diary without telling me, to see how badly I hated the Communist Party. He found nothing and said so, but I was so hurt. After that, I couldn't write anything. That was the worst result of the Cultural Revolution. To this day, people don't trust each other, don't think about the future, just think about themselves and find security only in making money. That's hard to change now, and most people in my generation just don't want to talk about the Cultural Revolution. But at least people afterwards had to reconsider the Communist Party, to re-examine Mao, and maybe if not for that, China today would be another North Korea."

Except for ongoing political routines, criticism and self-criticism, education was brought to an end at the Art Academy in 1966. Still, three years later, at the end of their five-year term-to-degree, Hongtu's class officially graduated, minus an education. The entire school was then sent down to the countryside near to Shijiazhuang, the capital of Hebei province, where they worked in the rice fields. The last two years there, they were permitted to do art work on Sundays, storing their painting equipment in the same baskets they used for collecting cow pies, so that they became known as the "Dung Basket School of Painting" (fen kuang huapai). At the end of their rustication period, in 1972, the class was assembled and belatedly given their diplomas. A year later, Zhang Hongtu was assigned to work with the Beijing Jewelry Import-Export Company, organized under the Second Ministry of Light Industry, producing items for export.

"I never saw my mother wear jewelry, so how could I design anything?" he asked. The answer to that question was, their designs were all based on photographs from fashion magazines from abroad. After nearly a decade of uninspiring work, in 1981, Zhang suggested to his supervisors that they send him to study the early Buddhist cave paintings at Dunhuang to gather jewelry design ideas. "I could have done the same thing from photographs of Dunhuang," he says, "but that idea got me there. I spent two days there making jewelry drawings from the painted Bodhisattvas – when I got back, everybody said 'Good! You've made so many sketches!' – and twenty-nine days on my own making copies of the murals, which became very important for my later painting."

During his nine years doing professional jewelry design, Zhang did his own art work only on Sunday evenings, mostly still-life drawings, landscapes, and paintings from models. Toward the end, from 1979 to 1981, he joined an unofficial art group, which was then very daring in China, both politically and artistically. His "Contemporaries" art group, Tongdai Ren, became the first unofficial group to exhibit their work at the National Art Gallery, in June 1980, mostly landscapes and portraits. Hongtu exhibited his painting of a Han dynasty artisan sculpting the famous funerary statue of a tiger, from the tomb of Han emperor Wu Di's favorite general, Huo Qubing (Figure 1). This was the first of Zhang's paintings to attract major attention and was later collected by the National Gallery. His idea for it was simple but not intended to be apparent to most people: "Everybody says 'Mao Zedong wansui,' 'Long life to Chairman Mao.' I just wanted to ask, which will live longer, Mao or art." Even the artist is tired, short-lived. Thus his title for the art work itself, Eternal Life. The attention given to this work helped win Zhang Hongtu unofficial invitations to join the faculty at his old institution, the Academy of Arts and Crafts. Similar offers came for a drawing position in the Architecture Department at Tsinghua University, and for an oil painting position at the Central Academy of Fine Arts. Hongtu requested permission to change jobs, but the jewelry company would not release his file. He argued, fought with them. "I said I never studied jewelry and that I was only with them – for eight long years – on leave from Arts and Crafts Academy. But nobody argues with you, and there was only one word: 'No.'" Conditioned by years of discrimination as Muslim and political alienation, and now frustrated as an artist with his creative future at stake, he determined at that moment to leave the country for the sake of his work. From a well-traveled family, he was ready to go. Zhang cited the opportunity to study at the Art Students League in New York City as his excuse. To his surprise, the jewelry design company complied in great haste, and in only three days he had their permission.

Married in 1972 to a fellow student, Huang Miaoling, a ceramist at the Arts and Crafts Academy, father to a son Dasheng born in 1976, and a devoted family man, Zhang Hongtu left his family behind to come to the United States in 1982. It was two years before his family able to follow him. The economics of his move did not come easy. For years to come, Zhang worked in construction, painting walls for $50 a day and cutting stone, as well as cutting mats for a fine arts framing company. Two years passed before he managed to sell two paintings, the second of which went for $1800 to the World Bank in Washington, D.C., and gave him encouragement. Many of his early works, like his Fish from 1985 (Figures 2 and 3), expressed his feeling like a fish out of water, an ocean away from the world he knew and understood. Is it any wonder that his fish stare at us as consciously as we stare at them, both fish and audience uncertain about the "reality" of this coming-ashore?

Zhang Hongtu had no idea of its significance in 1987 when he took brush and paint to a Quaker Oats box. (Figure 4) He had been eating oatmeal daily for years, when it occurred to him one morning that there was more than a passing resemblance between Mr. Quaker on his breakfast table and Chairman Mao back home. The idea that the Chairman was ubiquitous, so hard to get away from even here in America, and that just a few quick strokes of the brush could turn an American icon into a Chinese one, proved to be a turning point in Zhang's career. With these few strokes he became perhaps the first exemplar of the "political pop" movement that helped to launch contemporary Chinese painting into its current international trajectory.

Zhang's "experiment" was the beginning of a long romance between Chinese and Western icons. His Quaker Oats Mao boxes themselves became iconic of the "experimental" movement in contemporary Chinese art, but not before another work drew even greater attention to his work. Painted shortly after the traumatic events surrounding Tiananmen Square in the spring of 1989, Zhang's Last Banquet of 1989 (Figure 5) satirized the Communist deification of Mao Zedong and the sanctity of Mao's ideological scriptures. The irony of Mao's ideological rigidity, centered around his published writings and his "Little Red Book," was an all-Mao-all-the-time conformity in which Mao worshipped Mao and, in a self-initiated fall from grace, Mao betrayed Mao. In 1990, responding to the Tiananmen massacre, a senatorial group sponsored an exhibition in the Russell Rotunda of the United States capitol, to which Zhang Hongtu submitted his Last Banquet. The irony of ironies, then, came when the liberal senator from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy, barred the inclusion of this work as sacrilegious. With this, Zhang had come full circle, censored at an American exhibition protesting censorship in China. Censored now on two continents, rather than submit a substitute piece, Zhang pulled out of the exhibition and most of his fellow artists followed suit. When the Last Banquet, originally priced at $4000, was sold five years later for $50,000, Zhang was astounded and decided it was time at last to quite his construction work and become a full-time Chinese artist in America.

Zhang's Quaker Oats Mao boxes and his Last Banquet set the stage for his subsequent work, much of which drew on his uncomfortable experiences first as a Moslem outsider in China and then as a Chinese outsider in America, reaching back into his personal history and drawing on the contradictions of his own life. From his iconoclastic father, remembered for his refusal to bow to a Sun Yat-sen portrait and his public destruction of a statue of the Prophet, Zhang inherited an ironic attitude toward art, a belief that art is not meant for profit or personal reputation: "Art is art," his father always said, not for representation but for ethical instruction. At the same time, Zhang believes in the positive value of art: "I do believe in the power of the image," Zhang emphasizes. "I do not believe in the authority of the image." Zhang's works are all about authority and belief, about the power that icons exercise over the audience. In an increasingly transnational world, as a Chinese artist in America, his iconoclasm is designed to be cross-cultural, to offend all audiences equally, and to have something positive left over, in the form of "fun," a good laugh, a deeper political understanding and, despite his father's fundamentalism, something beautiful.
"People try to understand each other through culture," Zhang says, "but there are walls there. In my art, I try to make a way through the wall, to put a door, a hole in the wall, by using Western art with my own art. There's a Chinese saying, 'You can't breed a horse with a cow' (feng ma niu bu xiangji). My work is the opposite, like 'Daring to breed the horse with the cow' (pianyao feng ma niu)."

Combining the positive with the negative, Zhang's next major projects grew out of the pattern established by these two seminal works, Quaker Oats Mao and Last Banquet. First came several series of Mao Zedong portrait projects – his Chairmen Mao series (twelve works, 1989), his Material Mao set (done mostly in 1992-93), and his Unity and Discord series (nine works, 1997). These were followed afterward by his "on-going" landscape series. Each of these, in their own iconoclastic way, took on important aspects of traditions East and West. "Because of the influence from my life experiences and my multicultural background, I have always been interested in different cultures and the relationship between them. But my recent 'hybrid' works don't give an answer to these current issues such as 'globalization,' 'East and West,' high and low,' 'elite culture from the museum and mass culture from the society.' Rather, what I have been doing via my art is to question viewers' conventional taste, to evoke viewers' thinking on these issues from a different perspective."

Works in Zhang's Chairmen Mao series, 1989, represent this hybridity, like his portrait of the Chairman sporting a thick moustache (Figure 6), á la Duchamp's Mona Lisa, with the letters below, "H.I.A.C.S.," intended to mean "He is a Chinese Stalin" but leaving it to viewers to figure this out for themselves. Zhang Hongtu's Material Mao series features Mao's presence-through-absence, appearing everywhere (in grass, in popcorn, in wire mesh) and nowhere at all. "If you stare at a red shape for a long time," Zhang says, "when you turn away, your retina will hold the image but you will see a green version of the same shape. In the same way, when I lived in China, I saw the positive image of Mao so many times that my mind now holds a negative image of Mao. In my art I am transferring this psychological feeling to a physical object." And he adds, "Sometimes the hole in my work might remind you of the Nothingness of Daoism or the negative space of traditional Chinese ink painting. But the visual inspiration of my work really comes directly from a bagel!" Spoken like a real New Yorker. Zhang's ping-pong table of 1995 (Figure 7), beyond recalling the sports exchange that accompanied America's adopting a "One-China" policy in 1972, reminds viewers of the narrow line one has to tread in Chinese politics, not straying too far from Maoist dicta but not getting too close to the dangerous center of politics either. Each of the works in this series leave viewers with the opportunity to see Mao and Maoism in their own way, just as his diverse and often-divided followers did for themselves.
The figures in Zhang Hongtu's Unity and Discord panels of 1997 (Figure 8) look back to a classic photograph of Mao at Tiananmen in 1966, reviewing Red Guards at the outset of the Cultural Revolution. But these Maos are painted in the manner of various Western artists, Seurat, Picasso, Magritte, DeKooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Joseph Kosuth, and so forth. The mixing of East and West in composition and style extend the hybridity found in Quaker Oats and Last Banquet and form a bridge to Zhang's on-going landscape series.

In his On-going Shan-Shui series of painted landscapes, Zhang weds famous Chinese painting compositions to equally famous European brush styles, Fan Kuan meets Cézanne, Zhao Mengfu meets Monet, Shitao meets van Gogh, and so forth. (Figures 9, 10, 11) Calligraphic text is included, in Chinese, like that on the Zhao Mengfu - Monet painting which reads: Thank you for coming so close in order to read this calligraphy. You must be able to understand Chinese, right? However, have you noticed something truly unfortunate has happened? When you come close enough to be able to read these words, which is to say just at this moment, you lose the possibility of enjoying the painting as a whole. So ... please step back five or six steps (but be careful not to bump into anyone or anything behind you!). Find what you feel to be an appropriate distance and angle, and shift your attention from these words to the painting. Thank you for your attention.

Then there are Zhang's numerous hand-carved seals with challenging text and puns, like his "Daring to Breed the Horse with the Cow" or his "Look East, Look West," and his pictorial seal of the Daoist immortal Zhang Guolao riding backwards on his donkey. Actually, while radical and irreverent, the hybridizing here goes only one step beyond the radicalism of Dong Qichang in the seventeenth century, when Dong taught Chinese artists how to select "the best" artists from the past – his own favorites, and no others – extract the "essence" of each and systematically blend them together in a "great synthesis" (da cheng) – a teaching which proved so successful that it ultimate became a new orthodoxy, the standing conservatism of generations to come. While Dong's strategy was inward looking, to extract the last ounce of life from the Chinese tradition, Zhang Hongtu's step beyond Dong Qichang, of course, was to step outside of the Chinese realm, into an expanding-shrinking world-wide context of art and culture.

Zhang understands that for the post-Impressionists, who sometimes looked toward East Asia for inspiration, as for Dong Qichang some three centuries earlier, painting was no longer a matter of visual representation but of establishing aesthetic structures, historically derived. And he understands, too, that there has to be more in such works than meets the eye. "It's no good just to surprise people, and for them then to find that there's really nothing much there." Like Xu Bing's now-famous unreadable "Chinese characters" in his Book from the Sky – which aren't Chinese characters at all – Zhang's deconstructive mode is all about engaging viewers' expectations with the unanticipated aspects of his art and depends on their participation. "Beauty attracts the audience," he says, "but then the audience has to go to the second level. If it is too easy, people won't appreciate your work. If it's too difficult, there's no room for them to finish their part. If you present your work to the public, people have the right to create your work in their own imagination, even to misunderstand it." He appreciates that some in his audience have felt him to be sacrilegious, making a "play thing" out of "serious" art that ought to be seriously reverenced. "That's good," he asserts.

Zhang has spent weeks and months in New York's museums studying the techniques of Cézanne, Monet, and van Gogh, but his studies did not begin there. Going back to his last years in China, one sees in his luminous and skillfully-arranged paintings of persimmon orchards and grazing cows (Figures 12, 13) his absorption of these great artists' lessons, at a time when the practice of these styles in China was virtually taboo. He was, already in 1978, breaking down barriers. From today's perspective, he recalls the origins of his affection for these artists, leading still farther back in time to a Swedish-published book on world art that he saw in high school, in 1962. Not something one could buy in a store, not even in those slightly more liberal days under President Liu Shaoqi, this gift to his school was a book forbidden to students but showed to him by a teacher. Only a few years later, during the Cultural Revolution, Zhang would be taking out his own paintings inspired by this vision and using them as the basis for his required self-criticisms. Today, despite his best efforts, he sympathizes when the audience feels he hasn't fully mastered these styles. "That's good," he repeats. "That's really, really good. I try and try and I still can't equal them. Fortunately, I'm not trying to be them. Still, it's a very nice challenge. But the challenge depends on who you are in the audience, Chinese or Western. The Chinese part is easy. If it looked like van Gogh came to Hongtu's studio and helped him finish this painting, then it wouldn't be Hongtu. van Gogh's paintings were small, while mine are many times bigger. When I move my arm over a big painting, it has to be different. A smaller painting can look so fresh, since van Gogh added wet oils to still-wet oils, but in a bigger scale, the paint dries and when you go back to add more it's not in time and the paint is more dull. But I'm getting better!"

Little has escaped Zhang's attention or the broad technical range in arts and crafts, as he extends the concepts of Dong Qichang and Andy Warhol into the visual realm with MacDonald's packaging á la Shang dynasty bronze style, Coca-Cola's universal reach via blue-and-white ceramics (with the assistance of his wife Miaoling and the technicians of Jingdezhen), and the exploitation of Chinese labor through help-wanted ads written in the style of Wang Xizhi with soy sauce (and computerized in a mock-sales catalogue from Christie's, all priced out). (Figures 14, 15, 16) A computer aficionado, one of Zhang's masterworks in this realm is double hanging scroll of Bikers, 2000 (Figure 17), with dozens of individually photographed and digitally collaged Chinese bikers first riding out of the past, putting a Shen Zhou landscape behind them, but then heading right into Chairman Mao's calligraphic script of his famous poem "Snow," of 1936, in which Mao pauses to praise the Chinese landscape ("This land so rich in beauty") before strutting his ambition ("For truly great men / Look to this age alone").

Although Zhang also spent years learning and using traditional Chinese brush techniques, he adds, "If I tried to reverse the situation and paint a Western composition in Chinese styles, that would be even more difficult." But he is up for that challenge, too, and he has already begun painting all thirty-nine extant van Gogh self-portraits in a variety of Chinese techniques, from Liang Kai and Muqi through Bada Shanren.

"When he painted a Mao cap onto the Quaker Oats man on an oatmeal carton in 1987, he almost accidentally created perhaps the first work of Chinese political pop, which would become an extremely influential artistic genre in China in the early to mid-nineties.” Wu Hung, Transience: Chinese Experimental Art at the End of the Twentieth Century, by Wu Hung (Chicago: The David and Alfred Smart Museum of Art, The University of Chicago, 1999), 45. Zhang Hongtu had no idea that the Quaker Oats Company was a foremost corporate contributor to anti-Communist education in America throughout the Cold War era.

Duchamp's letters below, "L.H.O.O.Q.," are a presumed pun referring to the lady's sexuality, or perhaps to Leonardo's own, but also remain open to interpretation.

For the text of "Snow," see Mao Tse-tung Poems (Beijing: Foreign Languages Press, 1976), 23.

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