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Burden or Legacy

From the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Contemporary Art

Jiehong Jiang

Publication Year: 2007

This book consists of six papers by the scholars and the artists in China and in the UK, discussing contemporary Chinese art with the influence from the Chinese Cultural Revolution.

Published by: Hong Kong University Press, HKU

Title Page, Copyright

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pp. vii-ix

The drama of Chinese history is always reflected in the arts. During the social, ideological, political and cultural conflicts of the twentieth century, Chinese art changed more rapidly than in any other period. It did continue the tradition of literati art, including artists such as Wu Changshuo, Huang Binhong and Qi Baishi, and also began a modernization movement, that may be read as 'Westernization', with the influence of such styles as impressionism, fauvism, primitivism and cubism, as shown in the works of Lin Fengmian and Pang Xunqin...

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1. Burden or Legacy:From the Chinese Cultural Revolution to Contemporary Art

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pp. 1-32

The end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution opened an entirely new chapter for modern Chinese history, and indeed, for Chinese art too. In the last decade of the twentieth century, Chinese art has attracted the world's attention by frequent participation in important international events such as the Venice Biennale. There are various definitions of Chinese new art in the post-Cultural Revolution era. From a political point of view, on the one hand, the art has been categorized...

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2. From Red Guard Art to Contemporary Art

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pp. 33-46

Beginning with the Stars (Xing xing) art exhibitions in 1979 and continuing through the 85 Art Movement, modern art in China has evolved over a period of about twenty years. Pivotal in the development of contemporary Chinese art was the period during 1985 and 1986 when a sudden rupture exposed many of the major problems that had arisen in Chinese art over the past 50 years. The emerging new wave has dominated the concepts and style of contemporary art ever since. The art of those...

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3. The Image of Mao Zedong and Contemporary Chinese Art

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pp. 47-56

Mao Zedong led China in revolution for half a century, during which Chinese societies underwent drastic transformations; at the same time, art in China also experienced the unprecedented reforms in its ideologies and presentations. Bearing the mark of the revolutionary era, Chinese art became a unique chapter in art history of the world. Mao has not been erased from people's memory, even after his death. Maoist thoughts on literature and art, and indeed his image, were the imperative...

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4. Mesmerized by Power

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pp. 57-70

When assessing the effects of the Cultural Revolution on contemporary Chinese art, we must take into account the experience of change that came about in China as a result of Mao Zedong's legacy. Of course, forces other than ideological politics were at work to bring about this change - economic factors, modes of production and communication, among others - but the degree of radical cultural shift may be understood only in the context of the power struggles in China's ideological politics...

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5. Why the Manic Grin? Hysterical Bodies:Contemporary Art as (Male)Trauma in Post-Cultural Revolution China

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pp. 71-83

To think about the Cultural Revolution as a period of hysteria is nothing new. We are all familiar with images of hysteria during the Cultural Revolution, which epitomizes a period of political hysteria in recent Chinese history. Crowds of Red Guard youth shouting Mao slogans and waving the little red book are synonymous with the image of revolutionary China at its most extreme and occur in parallel to the mass movements of liberation in the West, Paris 1968, Beademania and images of screaming teenagers. It even could be said that images such...

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6. It Is Not Merely a Memory

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pp. 85-91

The Cultural Revolution of the 1960s is often known, in a literary sense, as 'shin ian haojie (ten years of catastrophe)'. To the many Chinese who were involved in the Cultural Revolution, its influence perhaps has had a more far-reaching and profound effect than if it had been a war. The slogan of the Cultural Revolution was "smash the old world; establish a new one" - the ideal and motivation of those revolutionary years. The devastation of the Cultural Revolution...

Glossary [contains image plates]

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pp. 93-96

E-ISBN-13: 9789882205536
Print-ISBN-13: 9789622098695

Page Count: 172
Publication Year: 2007