Political impersonators have been making waves a bit recently. First we had Kim Jong-un sightings in Hong Kong that turned out to be the work of Kim Jong “Um” bearing a striking similarity to the North Korean leader.

Now we bring you the mimicry of China’s Yan Chen. This 57-year-old woman with a little make-up and hair adjustment is a dead-ringer for the founder of the People’s Republic of China, Mao Zedong. Although it’s a character she has embraced wholeheartedly, the position of communist leader impersonator also carries a heavy burden for Ms. Chen and her family.

A tsar is born

Yan Chen took up the role of Chairman Mao in 2006. At the time she was attempting to impersonate a popular actor, but her friend who was a make-up artist noticed a different resemblance. After touching up Chen’s face, throwing on a Zhongshan suit, and arranging her hair into Mao’s trademark style the look was complete and it was as if the former leader were reborn.

She then took part in a television talent contest giving the public their first glimpse of Chen as Mao. The reaction was positive and Chen felt she had found her calling in life. She quit her job at the building material company where she worked and filed with the local government changing her occupation to entertainer. The government workers must have felt compelled to grant the request in this particular case.

It’s lonely at the top

By 2007 Yan Chen was in the spotlight as crowds would flock around her in the streets almost as if she were the real Mao Zedong. With her characteristic placid-yet-stone face and dangling cigarette Chairman Chen shook hands with her fans and waved to the scores of cameras.

However, despite the love she received from the crowds it was a different story at home. Chen’s continuous appearances as the former communist leader began to take a toll on her home life. Intimacy between the two waned to nearly nothing as her husband reportedly claimed it was “impossible. It’d be like sleeping with Mao Zedong.”

The couple is currently in a trial separation, but reports suggest they are working on mending their relationship. A major sticking point appears to be her husband and son’s staunch opposition to her Chairman Mao character.

Although hurt by her husband’s lack of sexual attraction to balding historical leaders, Chen continues on her mission for fame. She has given up on her favorite pastime of mahjong to study more about the life of Mao Zedong and perfect her character.

A hard road still lies ahead for Yan Chen. With a disapproving family to negotiate on the way to her dream of appearing on a TV show. She must work hard to fully revolutionize her life, and just as Chaiman Mao himself said, “A revolution is not a dinner party.”

Source: Zhonguo Shike Wang, Lao Qian Zhuang (Chinese)
Original Article by Megu Sawai

▼ This lady either really loved Chairman Mao, or she’s trying to steal Ms. Chen’s wallet.

▼ Underneath the suit Mao is just a “party girl”

Ms. Chen as herself

▼ And as Mao Zedong

[ Read in Japanese ]