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The Making and Remaking of China's "Red Classics"Politics, Aesthetics, and Mass Culture$
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Rosemary Roberts and Li Li

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9789888390892

Published to Hong Kong Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.5790/hongkong/9789888390892.001.0001

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Shaping the “Red Classics” of Chinese Art in Early Socialist China

Shaping the “Red Classics” of Chinese Art in Early Socialist China

Manipulating Tradition to Establish New Guohua

(p.74) 5 Shaping the “Red Classics” of Chinese Art in Early Socialist China
The Making and Remaking of China's "Red Classics"

Kuiyi Shen

Hong Kong University Press

Traditional Chinese art was tied closely to the ruling elites of imperial China and therefore presented a particular challenge to the new communist regime seeking to establish a new proletarian culture in the 1950s. This chapter throws light on the way established traditional painters and artists were managed and their art reshaped through the application of principles set down in the Yan’an Talks and a deliberate “modernization” of traditional Chinese painting. It argues that in the case of guohua the tension between old forms and new content was not just resolved but led to invigoration and innovation in the field and produced some of the greatest public artworks of the Maoist period

Keywords:   “red classics” in art, guohua, traditional Chinese painting, Socialist art, “old wine in new bottles”

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