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Turning Point
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Ma Weidu, whose ancestral home is in Rongcheng, Shandong Province, was born in 1955 in Beijing. He is a member of the China National Democratic Construction Association (one of China's eight non-communist parties) and is the founder and curator of the Guanfu Museum. At the beginning of 1969, shortly after the beginning of the Cultural Revolution, Ma Weidu, who was at primary school at the time, left Beijing with his family, and moved to a farming production team in Heilongjiang Province, working and living in the earliest day Seventh Cadre School, a place for officials who had made political mistakes or who had been demoted. As a result, his registered permanent residence was transferred out of Beijing. At that time, he did not know if he could ever return.

Life in the northeast gave him a taste of hunger. The canteen at the Cadre School lacked meat or fish, completely different from his abundant life in the capital. You cannot experience that hunger today, he said.

The most profound sentiment Ma Weidu has for that time is that it made a generation know the difficulty of survival and made them appreciate the value of knowledge. As a result, when this era ended, many people had great hopes for the future.

Ten years later, Ma Weidu, who was very fond of literature as a child, experienced a great change in his fortunes. On August 20, 1981, the supplement of China Youth Daily published the story Moon Round Tonight by Ma Weidu. Subsequently, Ma Weidu not only received almost a sack of letters from readers, but the head of China Youth Publishing House also took notice of him. Two months later, he became an editor at China's most influential youth magazine, Youth Literature, where he worked for 10 years. In the meantime, he was acquainted with a large number of young writers and poets who were later highly successful in China's literary world. Many of his works were also published in domestic newspapers and periodicals.

Although Ma Weidu has a great literary talent, and has gained a reputation in this field, he has displayed even greater potential in collecting. In Ma Weidu's mind, although he was only seven or eight years old, the impression of the big vase, and the calligraphy and painting on the wall in his grandmother's house was very deep. Ma Weidu also thinks that he can attribute his interest in collecting to his great love for literature.

Perhaps collecting has something to do with what he saw as a child, when he witnessed the destruction of cultural relics. When he was 11, the Cultural Revolution had just begun, and a large number of cultural relics were damaged. One thing that made a great impression on him was that a sewer behind his house was blocked, and everybody went to have a look. Finally, a gold Buddha was taken out. At that time, everyone threw away priceless antiques, saying it was the breaking with the four olds (old ideas, old culture, old customs and old habits). After doing so, they would feel sure in their minds that they were safe.

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