By Richard King, Ralph Croizier, Shentian Zheng, Scott Watson
40 years after China's tumultuous Cultural Revolution, this booklet 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 vivid, militant, usually gaudy photographs intended to artists, their buyers, and their audiences on the time, and what they suggest now, either of their unique varieties and as progressive icons transformed for a brand new market-oriented age. Chapters by means of students of chinese language background and paintings and by way of artists whose careers have been formed via the Cultural Revolution provide 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 info for Art in Turmoil: The Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 (Contemporary Chinese Studies)
At the same time, the practical needs of material existence, such as food and clothing, became ever more diﬃcult to obtain. An entire generation grew up nourished by the same music, that of the model theatrical works of the Cultural Revolution, and the same imagery – Cultural Revolution cartoons, posters, and paintings – and all artists were trained to paint in essentially the same style. This art, like the policies that produced it, may trace its origins and aesthetic principles to the earlier history of the Communist Party, and like them, it is the result of a continuous development pushed onto an extremist byway.
Another black painting exhibition in late 1968 attacked the classical tradition of ink painting. Many of the leading masters of this genre were on the Central Academy of Fine Arts faculty – Qi Baishi (who had died by this time) and the senior professors Ye Qianyu, Li Keran, and Li Kuchan. Most old artists were under surveillance and were prohibited from painting during these years. 24 In some instances, a faction would spirit away works of art or even people to be criticized and hide them from opposing 38 The Art of the Cultural Revolution groups.
Marshall He Long stands behind her, depicted with exaggerated emphasis on his hairy chest, arms, and moustache. He wears Beijing opera ﬂags on his back that read “If the father’s a hero,” thus portraying him as a supporter of the “bloodlines” Red Guard group. Following in sedan chairs are Liu Shaoqi, Deng Xiaoping, and 41 Julia F. Andrews their supporters. Deng plays bridge with cards that read “king” and “work teams,” the latter a reference to party oﬃcials who attempted to pacify the student rebels in the early days of the movement.