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2/24/11 China (ChicagoTribune) – “They really think we made these things up to demonize Chairman Mao,” she said. “When they know the truth, they get very angry. They say they have been cheated.”

In recent years, more people have been able to produce books and documentaries and photographs showing the effects of the revolution, said Wang, whose research website is banned in China.

Lu’s photos for years were shown under different names because of the sensitivity of their topic. The Loyola exhibit is the first in which all 60 photos are shown under his real name, said Don Heider, dean of the School of Communication, where the photos were first shown in the fall.

Loyola now owns the photos, which Lu printed in a lab in Beijing, Heider said.

Chen first saw the photos 10 years ago while working for the Minneapolis Institute for Art, but the photos were under different names.

Chen tried to contact Lu to invite him to do a showing in the United States, but he was working on a series of sensitive photos on humanitarian issues in Tibet and would not leave China.

By the time Chen presented the idea of doing a showing at Loyola to Heider, Lu was finished with his latest project. He excitedly agreed to the showing and visited Loyola in the fall, Chen said.

The students were struck by the photos and by Lu’s work, Chen said.

Matt Harriett, a public relations and advertising student, said he did not realize the Christian church was so “prevalent and relevant” in China until he saw the photos.

“I knew somewhat about it, but I was surprised at how a very Western principle has been applied in the East,” he said. “I think it’s interesting that places in Asia have Christian sects.”

For Chen, who attended the first church service of his life in China after the Cultural Revolution, the photos represent something inspiring.

“Belief is not based on what you have but on what you have in your heart,” he said. “These photos are a universal reminder.”

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