The above photo was taken in 1976, capturing a moment when I was painting Mao for his funeral. At that time, I was a portrait artist in China, fervently following Mao's call to “liberate the capitalist world.” After his death, I moved to the United States—not to liberate it, but to study political economy. This journey led me to realize that what Mao had told us was a big lie—it was China that needed to be liberated. I earned my doctoral degree from Princeton.
My journey took me from being a soldier of the communist revolution to a prisoner of the revolution (I was detained in China in 2001 for criticizing the Communist Party), and ultimately to an opponent of the revolution.
Although I am now a business professor at an American university, my passion for art has never waned. Today, I channel my creativity into political cartoons, satirizing the absurdities of authoritarian regimes, particularly the Chinese Communist Party.

YouTube: @shaominli4935
X: @ShaominLi1