Tears of Idealism is one of the works from the famous series "Communist Sisters" that Ling Jian started in 2003. Each work from this series portrays a single erotic portrait of a sexy woman, representing an ideal and modern Chinese beauty with military attributes. For the first time in this series Ling Jian painted three different beheaded portraits on a wide and large canvas, emphasising the political role of women in the flying changing Chinese society.
All of Ling Jian's portraits of women are directly influenced by his muses, young Asian beauties, reflecting perfection and eternity, assets that have always celebrated military culture and served the official propaganda. These dream-like military youths reflect an apparent naïvety that creates a controversial iconography.
The reality compared to the aesthetical values that the painter is trying to hand over creates a distance, reinforced by modern Western modes of depiction for eastern aesthetics. This provocative and highly sensual style is to Ling the ideal way of portraying the conservative and rational reality of the true communist female soldier.
The artist chooses to only represent women as he thinks that in the evolutionary history of humanity women are always symbols of an era. He describes and paints them like true icons of a locally specific secular culture, giving them almost a sense of religion. The recurrence of the red colour in most of Ling Jian's paintings, introduced by inconspicuous details in the painting, such as little red books or simple touches of sinking red paint, not only refers to anger but also to passion. The Chinese cultural identity, which Ling describes in these paintings, is reinforced by this extreme and powerful interpretation of the traditional colour of communism. Tears of Idealism is quite an ambivalent portrait of cultural identity, as described in many of Ling Jian's fantastical images.