Until the 1990s in China, photography was largely used for propaganda or utilitarian purposes. Hong is one of a generation of emerging artists that has developed a critical photographic practice reflecting on the legacy of cultural memory amidst a rapidly changing China. Long March in Panjiayuan A 2004 was produced for the Long March Project. Hong scanned life-size objects and Mao memorabilia to reflect on the subtle but pervasive influence of the communist revolution on his generation.
Hong often uses repetition in his photographs to redefine and re-evaluate the meanings of objects and events. In this work, propaganda materials from the historical Long March — maps, drawings, paintings, pamphlets, booklets, photographs, badges and hats — are displayed in an encyclopedic array, crowding onto the flat surface of the picture plane. The title refers to the Panjiayuan antique markets in Beijing, the largest second-hand markets in Asia, where tourists and collectors gather every weekend and stalls selling copious quantities of Mao memorabilia (both fake and genuine) proliferate.