Sino the times: The ObaMao T-shirt

Sino the times: The ObaMao T-shirt

Barack Obama and Mao Zedong mash-up T-shirts crack smiles in Beijing
Obama Mao T-Shirt
The 'ObaMao' T-shirt on display in Beijing.

With U.S. President Barack Obama landing in China, we've come up with an alternative itinerary while a Beijing based designer has come up with an alternative graphic design called the 'ObaMao.'

In what has to be a first -- possibly in the spirit of Shepard Fairey's artistic designs -- Beijing based designer and entrepreneur Liu Mingjiehas created the now banned ObaMao as part Barack Obama, part Chairman Mao Zedong, and all awesome. The graphic puts Obama's face into the spot usually occupied by Mao and features a green Communist Party hat with a red star, slightly tilted because that's 'more American.'

Mingjiehas has put ObaMao on T-shirts, bags, posters, and all varieties of trinket, including a small fake cover of Time Magazine back in June.

At his shop Stefan (No 20 Yandai Xiejie in the neighborhood near China’s famed Bell and Drum towers), he's gotten quite the reaction from customers so far. In a China Daily article Mingjiehas said, "American people who come in (to the shop) say, 'Omigosh. That's fantastic." I'll bet the Republican party feels the same way.

Omigosh, I wonder what Obama would think of the ObaMao? Maybe we'll find out as Mingjiehas has sent one of the T-shirts to the White House, but has yet to get a response.

Update: Obama will have to check his mail if he wants to see his likeness mixed with that of Mao on a T-shirt, because China has banned the ObaMao for at least the duration of Obama's visit for fear it might offend the U.S. president.


Chris Anderson is the former associate editor of CNNGo based in Hong Kong and is now senior editor at Huffington Post Media Group.

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