Richard King et al. (eds.)'s Art in turmoil : the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 PDF

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Weng Rulan’s work mocks rival Red Guard factions as well as the thirty-nine politicians. 33 Weng herself, as the daughter of two professors, was the product of what the other faction had declared to be a bad class background and thus was one who would be deprived of political and civil rights in the new social structure codified by the Cultural Revolution. A Parade of Clowns enjoyed wide distribution and marked a short-lived publicity victory for the artist’s Red Guard faction. In poster form, it was made available to workers in Beijing, displayed throughout the diplomatic district of the city, and even mailed to foreign purchasers of Chinese books and periodicals.

Pro-slogan students eventually prevailed nationwide, and Red Guards from bad backgrounds were required to denounce their parents or quit the patriotic movement. 15 For most of the subsequent decade, a person’s class background determined access to employment and education. On eight occasions between August and December 1966, Mao Zedong and the reorganized Communist Party leadership received Red Guards who travelled to Beijing from all over the nation. 16 Mao’s meeting with the Red Guard became a favourite subject for young artists.

Some young artists, notably a group at the 19 Richard King and Jan Walls Zhejiang Academy of Fine Arts in Hangzhou (now the National Academy of Fine Arts), drew on symbols from the Cultural Revolution not only for paintings, but also for experimental performance and installation art. Then, out of the same questioning of the communist system that produced the New Wave art, came the political crisis that culminated in the Tian’anmen massacre of June 1989. This might have been expected to mark a return to a socialist, if not exactly Cultural Revolution, style for art and society, but it did not.

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Art in turmoil : the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-76 by Richard King et al. (eds.)

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