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Tag: Cultural Revolution

Sydney Morning Herald Column

White Rabbit: 'Serve the People' & Li Jin

Saturday, October 19th, 2013 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

Serve the People was the theme of a speech given by Mao Zedong in September 1944, while the Red Army was still engaged in combat with the Japanese. One year later the invader was defeated and the Communist forces would be renamed “the People’s Liberation Army”. In the years that followed, the PLA would battle […]

Sydney Morning Herald Column

Shen Jiawei: Brothers and Sisters

Saturday, December 15th, 2012 Sydney Morning Herald Column,

In the mythology of Maoist China no event is more important than The Long March. It is the foundation story of the People’s Republic even if there is no separating fact from fiction. The March began in October 1934 when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was driven out of the small republic it had established […]

Art Essays

The First Emperor

Saturday, December 11th, 2010 Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

For two thousand years the safest place for China’s cultural heritage has been underground. The Chinese may be proud of having the world’s oldest civilisation but they have also been the greatest destroyers and iconoclasts. In China the present has frequently been at war with the past, as the ruler of the day attempted to […]

Art Essays

White Rabbit: The Big Bang

Saturday, December 4th, 2010 Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

As a squad of entombed warriors takes up temporary residence at the Art Gallery of NSW this may be an opportune time to look at the state of Chinese art two thousand years down the track. White Rabbit, the Neilson family’s privately funded museum of contemporary Chinese art, is currently holding its third exhibition. Like […]

Art Essays

Shen Jiawei: From Mao to Now

Saturday, November 13th, 2010 Australian Art, Chinese Art, Sydney Morning Herald Column,

It’s a sign of our ignorance about China that the term “Cultural Revolution” is used so promiscuously in the mass media. Art exhibitions, fashion shows, almost anything may be described by this catchphrase, which obviously seems ‘cool’ to a lot of people. But as Mao Zedong famously said: “a revolution is not a tea party.” […]

Art Essays

Shen Jiawei: the Art of Politics

Sunday, August 1st, 2010 Art Essays, Australian Art, Chinese Art, International Art,

Shen Jiawei became an artist during the Cultural Revolution, making his first major works in the service of the state, embodied in the figure of the Great Helmsman, Mao Zedong. For roughly a decade, from 1966 onwards, every aspect of daily life in China was politicised in a way that seems to defy logic. It […]