When I was a little girl, I was wearing Mao’s suit,
holding Mao’s little red book,
actually reciting has works.
My childhood was full of memory that belongs to a period of Cultural Revolution.
The Cultural Revolution was actually an exciting time for me.
Because it was a time for community.
I had great sense of being part of a huge community.
Because everybody was on the street or everybody was holding this red book
Everybody was called on to do something together
So there wasn’t any sense of individuality
I was just part of a group.
I learnt how to become part of the family.
That was actually my little or small problem.
I feel I always have this small aspect of me, if not a huge one,
wanting to become an individual, wanting to be different.
I always want to be different.
For instance, when everybody was doing a “集体舞”, dancing together,
I would bound to do something else.
So by then I knew I had a little bit different voice.
But I didn’t know how to express that.
I wasn’t so sure whether I should express that individual voice.
ON FIRST CONTACT WITH THE WEST
I didn’t know I have family in America until 1972 when Nixon visited China.
All of sudden, my aunt showed up in China
I was looking at her. I saw she was so beautiful, I saw she was so bourgeois
She looked just like the bad people, so beautiful
As if beauty should be condemned,
as if grace should be condemned.
So I was really looking at her through the eyes of the communist,
like we should be plain, simple, no makeup, no jewelry.
So I was a little shocked to know someone from the United Stated was my aunt and she was beautiful.
I was wearing clothe that’s brought to me by my aunt and her daughter
so I appear to be very different in school all of sudden.
I was wearing this big belt-bottom kind of trousers and it was very different.
And that was in the color of the sky
It was not deep blue, it was very light blue.
And on top of it, I went out and bought a pair of red shoes.
So I was really a different looking person
By then I was totally attracted to a different look
By then I felt like my individuality emerged.
So that’s why I planted the idea in myself or
their arrival in China inspired me about another world.
我打量着姑妈的仪表神态 发现她真美 真资产阶级
大家应该朴素 不化装 不戴首饰