Alex Cao

The year was 1985, I was jumping up and down cheering for my newly curled hair. I looked just like a curly-haired doll, one that I had always wanted but never had. A doll was the epitome of Capitalism. The excitement didn’t last long. The next day, I was standing in front of the whole class being denounced by the teacher, calling me “a capitalist brat” and “a bourgeois baby.” As she pulled off my hair band, my curly hair puffed-up into a mess. It was a victory for the system’s elementary school teacher parading me and exhibiting me as a negative example, so as to educate other children in proletarian Maoism. In essence, it was also Mao’s victory, even though he was dead. In a state of unsettledness, my art manifests itself as a neural network and continuously grows new synapses responding to the changes between the popular culture and the individual.