When Andy Warhol (1928-1987) flew to Beijing via Hong Kong in 1982 and captured his impressions in brief journal entries while at the same time taking a host of photographs, he encountered a capital that displayed hardly any commercial influences and was on the verge of an enormous transition. At this decisive turning point, Warhol succeeded in producing images that besides their artistic value also have documentary merit. Following the dramatic upheaval brought about by the Cultural Revolution, it was not until after Mao’s death in 1976 and the careful opening of the country that an art scene was able to emerge in the vast, tightly controlled empire in which the entire population had been forced into line. New artistic strategies and materials found their way into China; The Stars, a group of artists to which Ai Weiwei also belonged, offensively processed influences by Andy Warhol and other protagonists of Pop Art in their work. Warhol’s silkscreen print Mao (1972), reproduced millions of times, became their point of departure for a critical artistic examination of the symbols of the communist government.