A monument depicting two of China's "Super Girl" pop singers, in a
style similar to those of revolutionary heroes, at a Beijing art
festival has caused wide public debate.
The four-meter-high monument featuring Li Yuchun and Zhou
Bichang, champion and runner-up of perhaps the country's most
successful all-girl singing contest "Super Girl" in 2005, is on
show at the Songzhuang Art Festival in east Beijing.
The two figures, both leaning forward with one foot striding
out, resemble portrayals of revolutionaries although their rise to
fame bears no such resemblance.
Made in two months by respected sculptors Sun Zhenghua and Dai
Yun, the monument has drawn mass criticism on-line.
Most Internet users argued the "super girls" deserved no such
Chu Tian Nan Min ("Refuge") said, "A monument should be built
for the country's heroes or martyrs only, whose deeds should be
respected and remembered by people. It's not for young pop
Other voices also suggest the artists created the sculpture to
satirize the current "super girl" frenzy. A netizen called "Mars
Clover" even shouted out "the world is crazy that Beijing has a
'Super Girl' monument".
Even Li and Zhou's fans protested that "monument should only be
built for the deceased".
The star-making reality show "Super Girl" by central China's
Hunan TV is generally regarded as the Chinese version of American
Idol. It drew an audience of 400 million for the finale of its
four-month run in 2005.
But there are also strong voices criticizing "Super Girl" for
promoting "vulgarity", and discouraging youngsters from living life
practically by providing instant celebrity.
Sun, also dean of the Shenzhen Sculpture Institution in South
China, insisted that sculptures do not have to represent
revolutionary martyrs but should reflect modern society.
"Making a monument is to reflect a new cultural trend in society
and to record it," he said.
Li Zhiqiang, organizer of the Songzhuang Art Festival, said the
sculptors would dispose of the monument after the October 6 -16 art
The two "super girls" seemed irritated by the tribute. The agent
for Li Yuchun said her company would take legal action for
violations of the singer's image.
Yu Binghan, agent of Zhou Bichang, expressed a similar view,
saying Zhou was new to the music industry and her performances and
social contributions still fell far short of being commemorated in
Sun Yuanming, a research fellow with the Chongqing Municipal
Academy of Social Sciences, attributed lack of timely laws and
regulations to the emergence of many new things in the society like
the monument, a "very easygoing" item in his words.
(Xinhua News Agency October 13, 2006)