Li Zhensheng was born on September 22, 1940 to a poor family in Dalian in the northeastern province of Liaoning—a part of China then under Japanese military occupation. He has captured some of the most telling images from the Chinese Cultural Revolution of the late sixties. His employment at the Heilongjiang Daily, a turned-propaganda newspaper during the revolution, and his decision to wear a red arm band indicating an alliance with Chairman Mao Zedong, allowed him rare access to scenes which have since been only described in written and verbal accounts. The Heilongjiang Daily newspaper had a strict policy in accordance with a government dictate that only “positive” images could be published, which consisted mostly of smiling revolutionaries offering praise for Chairman Mao. The “negative” images, which depicted the atrocities of the time, were hidden beneath a floorboard in his house where they sat for over 40 years before he would bring them to public light at a photo exhibit in 1988.
Li Zhensheng’s website is red-colornewssoldier.com.