Today in my ongoing series of photos from my travels: this artfully aged Chairman Mao statue stood about a meter high, on sale at an "antiques" stall in Shanghai. The street market was filled with cheerfully fake pieces (I found a nice fake Omega antique brooch clock and when the vendor argued for a few more RMB on the price, he said, "Omega, Omega!" and I countered, "Fake Omega!" and he said, "Chinese Omega!" and we both cracked up). At the next stall over a man was working with sandpaper and some kind of chemical to age a revolutionary-era plaque.
The revolution-kitsch antiques were in great supply, each of them weathered like this Mao, to look as though they'd been pulled out of an old town tenement just before it was bulldozed to make way for a gaudy, neon-clad skyscraper. Reality? Probably made in Guangzhou a week before. Link