The Cultural Revolution was started by a Dazibao at Beijing University in May of 1966, which as greatly confirmed by Mao. Mao himself wrote one Dazibao titled as “Bomb the Capitalist Headquarters” to mobilize people to follow suit. Billions
of Dazibao were overwhelming in the ten years of the Cultural Revolution. They were posted on walls all over China, especially in school campuses, offices and
Many Dazibao follow a similar format, starting with a Mao quotation written in red. Dazibao were usually signed and dated by their author. On Dazibao, names crossed out with red color ink indicate criticism. Numbers indicate either a series or having been recorded already. Dazibao were protected by the Cultural Revolution Law, and nobody dared to destroy or keep them.
The content would be denouncing people or things opposing Maoist ideology. People wrote against their father, teacher, friend and even themselves. Each poster is so bound up with fear, violence, paranoia and chaos. Some Dazibao was overwritten on the top. Usually the second writing was done by the person who was attacked by the first writing. Overwriting also means destroying, so the second writing was finished in a rush and the calligraphy was very powerful.
From a modern art view point, Dazibao is simply a street art or political graffiti. Mao himself was a poet as well as a brush calligraphy artist, but he never expected that he was the curator for the biggest street art movement ever happened in the human history.