March 7, 2017

Art in Turmoil: The Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 by Richard King, Ralph Croizier, Shentian Zheng, Scott Watson

By Richard King, Ralph Croizier, Shentian Zheng, Scott Watson

40 years after China's tumultuous Cultural Revolution, this ebook revisits the visible and acting arts of the interval - the work, propaganda posters, political cartoons, sculpture, people arts, inner most sketchbooks, opera, and ballet - and examines what those shiny, militant, frequently gaudy photos intended to artists, their consumers, and their audiences on the time, and what they suggest now, either of their unique varieties and as innovative icons transformed for a brand new market-oriented age. Chapters through students of chinese language heritage and artwork and through artists whose careers have been formed by way of the Cultural Revolution supply new insights into works that experience transcended their times.
Richard King is the director of the Centre for Asia-Pacific projects and an affiliate professor of chinese language experiences on the college of Victoria.

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Additional resources for Art in Turmoil: The Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 (Contemporary Chinese Studies)

Sample text

Early in the 1966 frenzy of student activism, revolutionary students and teachers of the Central Academy of Fine Arts conducted a dramatic symbolic event, the smashing of the plaster statues, which occurred on about 25 August. Sketching from plaster casts of famous European and Asian sculptures was an integral part of the Central Academy of Fine Arts curriculum, following that of the European academies on which it was based. The Red Guards decided in 1966 that the plaster reproductions of the four olds should be smashed.

The desire to forget the “ten lost years” on the part of both victims and victimizers is understandable. Red Guard Caricature: A Parade of Clowns The Central Academy of Fine Arts in Beijing attracted national attention for its propaganda work at the height of the movement. 28 When the poster was made, this organization occupied offices in the municipal government 39 Julia F. 5 Weng Rulan, A Parade of Clowns (1967). Poster. Collection of the artist. complex, a situation no doubt resulting from the January overthrow of the city government.

This installation, and its subsequent history, is the subject of Chapter 5, by Britta Erickson, in this volume. Jiang Qing’s critical stance was justified, according to the Red Guards, by the approval of workers, peasants, and soldiers. 5 Staffing shifts were made throughout the propaganda apparatus so that major newspapers became more responsive to Mao’s wishes. A new Cultural Revolution Small Group was appointed directly under the Standing Committee of the Politburo to direct the movement. The most frequently seen, yet transitory, art form of the period may have been the big-character posters (dazibao) handwritten in bold calligraphy to attack the person or policy to be discredited.

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