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Red Illuminates

Red Illuminates explores the concept of culture in socialist countries and how loyalty to the state is cultivated. The catalyst for the project was found in a residential area of Beijing where Special Criminal Syndicate Combat propaganda posters displayed, on average, every 40 meters. These are presented alongside large-format portraits of so-called young pioneers emulating Mao Zedong’s portrait in Tiananmen Square. A white orchid blooming under artificial grow lights, a still from a video work, is listening to socialist propaganda from CCTV (China’s official news channel) continuously for 30 days. With this video, Long asks the question, “could this conditioning eventually turn a white orchid red?”. These symbolic references provide a framework to examine the power dynamics of state-generated loyalty in China.

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