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Remaking Beijing traces China's modern and contemporary experience, focusing on Tiananmen Square in Beijing, still the most exalted space in China today. Wu Hung describes the square's transformation from a proscribed imperial space to a public arena of political expression, and from a monumental Communist complex to a holy relic of the Maoist era. For over half a century, since the square became the symbolic center of the new socialist capital, it has determined the city's development; in examining the square, the author examines the city as a whole. The author also explores the importance of Tiananmen as a locus of art production in China: as the site for Mao's standard portrait on Tiananmen's facade; as the location of museums and monuments showcasing masterpieces of socialist art; and as a parade ground for extravagant National Day celebrations representing the revolutionary masses. In recent years it has also inspired unofficial artists to create a large body of works - paintings, photographs, real and simulated performances - which challenge its authority. Using a wide range of sources including government archives, newspapers, photography, architecture, literature, art exhibitions and advertisements, this book explores the history and complex meaning of Beijing's public spaces. As a native of Beijing, Wu Hung witnessed the construction and transformation of the city; in this book he combines historical enquiry with his own personal experience, offering a case study of a particular type of modern metropolis whose construction is intertwined with the creation of a political nation-state.