REJOICE OVER VICTORY: THE 40TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE END OF THE CULTURAL REVOLUTION
This is an illustration of Shi Chuanxiang, a "model worker", cleaning the streets of a small village before dawn.
A similar period painting by Wang Ruihui is in the collection of the Princeton University Art Museum.
Following the Communist Revolution in 1949, the Chinese government began the practice of annually electing "model workers": exemplary figures from the country's vast working class intended to instill in citizens a respect for manual labor. Shi Chuanxiang (1915-1975), who spent more than 40 years of his life shoveling and carrying manure from hole-in-the-ground public bathrooms, was one such model worker and became an idealized figure across the country after he was received by Liu Shaoqi (1898-1969), the then president, in 1959. His story is compulsory reading in elementary schools even today.