Art and China’s Revolution reflects upon one of the most tumultuous and catastrophic periods in recent Chinese history⎯the three decades following the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949. During this time, the government led by Mao Zedong sought to modernize China across all aspects of society, a process that included suppressing or [...]


Cult of Mao

Cult of Mao

The earliest published portrait of Mao Zedong was created in 1933. In this early period, portraits of Mao were most often woodblock prints and varied greatly in style. When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, portraits of Mao were standardized by the Central Propaganda Department. When the Cultural Revolution began in 1966, [...]

To Rebel

To Rebel is Justified

To Rebel is justified

Three months after the official launch of the Cultural Revolution in May 1966, one million youths gathered at Tiananmen Square to attend Mao’s first meeting with Red Guards. The Red Guards were a mass movement of civilians, initially radical high school and university students. Their manifesto stated that they wanted to turn the old world [...]

Never Forget

Never forget

Never Forget Class Struggle

Age and class determined how a person was treated during the Cultural Revolution. Well-respected, older artists such as Lin Fengmian, Li Keran, Pan Tianshou, and Shi Lu, whose ink paintings had been widely revered before the Cultural Revolution, found their work not just out of fashion but scorned as examples of bourgeois decadence. These older [...]

Up to the Mountains

Up to the mountains

Up to the Mountains, Down to the Villages

After two years of violent clashes among Red Guard factions and disrupted classes in schools and universities across the country, students were sent to the countryside for “reeducation.” Many of their teachers and those who had fallen on the wrong side of politics had been sent to labor camps during the previous decade. It is [...]



Archive: Art, History, and Politics

This section of the exhibition is devoted to an historical account of China from 1949, when the Communist Party assumed power and established The Peoples Republic of China, to 1979, two years after the end of the Cultural Revolution. The printed materials, objects from everyday life, and other ephemera attempt to document the political and [...]

Long March

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Long March Project

The Long March Project, a contemporary art collective based in Beijing, began in 2002 with the formulation of “Long March Project—A Walking Visual Display.” This was the Long March Project’s first endeavor and was conceived by artist, curator, and Long March Project Founder Lu Jie along with artist Qiu Zhijie. It aimed to retrace the [...]

Artist's Excerpt

Excerpts from “The Fate of a Painting” by Shen Jiawei

Excerpts from “The Fate of a Painting” by Shen Jiawei

Since its completion in 1974, my oil painting Standing Guard for Our Great Motherland has had a very strange fate. It has become somewhat of a cultural artifact, an embodiment of the narrative of the Cultural Revolution.
When Mao Zedong launched the Cultural Revolution in May 1966, it signaled the end of my dreams of studying [...]



Featured Video: The Making of Liu Chunhua’s Chairman Mao Goes to Anyuan

Excerpts from an interview with the artist, Liu Chunhua, by Zheng Shengtian, Beijing, May 27, 2007 Film by Mathieu Borysevicz, 2008 Camera: Chen Ruhong