Maoist art

Chinese old civilization is one of the richest ones in terms of art: paintings, calligraphy, music, opera, poetry and sculpture are famous all around the world and an entire life is not enough to enjoy it.

The Twentieth century was one of the most unstable period in Chinese history, and the transition towards modernism had heavy consequences over Chinese art. However, Chinese traditional art did not disappear during this period. It has just been adapted to modern times and political ideology. After the establishment of the Peoples Republic of China in 1949, communist politicians controled the whole art production and artists. During three decades, everything had to suggest the magnificence of Communist China and its most famous leader, Mao Zedong, who was said to be a fine poet and calligrapher as well.

Chinese art became extremely specific during this period. Paintings, calligraphy, music and opera did not disappear, and where used by the authorities for political purposes. The result is obviously fascinating.

Thousands of propaganda posters, each of them being a real treasure (with high ideological and artistic levels, as it was said at this time) were created. During the Cultural Revolution era, some statuettes have been manufactured, representing ordinary scenes and famous people of this period. Some daily items were used for communist propaganda purpose as well and Chairman Mao appeared everywhere. Music and opera were adapted to modern and sometimes military rythm, while keeping typical Chinese background. The lyrics were fully dedicated to communism as well. These are the four rubrics you can enjoy on this website.

Many of you may feel this is more ridiculous and horrible than beautiful. This is very normal, because of what is hidden behind these works. However, whatever the political beliefs, it is impossible to deny that an extraordinary work has been done. At least, it is very possible not to be attracted by communism and Chariman Mao, but to enjoy such maoist art; it is my case actually.

Propaganda posters Cultural Revolution statuettes Maoist stuff Chinese revolutionary songs with lyrics (French version only)