Skip to content

Richmond's Lenin/Miss Mao is back in Vancouver...and needing new home again

The artwork's creators contacted the Richmond News with its latest location
Lenin, without Miss Mao, in its last known location, in the Mojave Desert in California.

In an update to last week’s catching up of what ever happened to the Lenin/Miss Mao work of art, the controversial piece is actually in a Vancouver warehouse.

The Richmond News reported last week that the massive chrome sculpture’s last known location was in the Mojave Desert in California, minus Miss Mao from atop its head.

However, Lenin/Miss Mao’s creators, the Gao brothers, reached out to the News this week to inform that their piece – which sparked controversy when it was in Richmond between 2009 and 2011 – is being stored in Vancouver.

They said they are, once more, desperately trying to find a new home or buyer somewhere in North America for the artwork.

“We have to find a place to exhibit or store it, or even sell it,” the brothers wrote to the News.

Miss Mao Trying to Poise Herself at the Top of Lenin’s Head – as it’s called officially – made it all the way to an art gallery in the Los Angeles suburb of Ingelwood.

According to the local newspaper, the Larchmont Chronicle, it sat there until at least 2017, causing, just as it did in Richmond, conflicts of opinion among residents, many of whom saw it as a local tourist attraction.

However, the gallery apparently got evicted that year and the future of Lenin/Miss Mao was cast into doubt, with the Gao brothers themselves making a public plea for a new home for their famous/infamous piece.

Later that year, according to another local publication, the Larchmont Buzz, the sculpture somehow ended up in the compound of an art collector in the Mojave Desert, near Newberry Springs, CA.

When it was in Richmond during the 2010 Olympics, it provoked equal measures of delight and disgust when it was erected, the latter of the two reactions coming from people who failed to get the satire of Lenin/Miss Mao’s creators – the Chinese Gao brothers – who were having a pop at communism, as opposed to celebrating it, like some concluded.