본문 바로가기
  • Home

Descriptions of the Cultural Revolution in Early 1990s Chinese Film and Painting

Ha Yoon Jung 1

1University of California, San Diego

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This study examines how the Cultural Revolution was depicted in early 1990s Mainland China by analyzing three films and two painting series, which are Chen Kaige’s Farewell My Concubine, Tian Zhuangzhuang’s The Blue Kite , Zhang Yimou’s To Live, Wang Guangyi’s Great Criticism Series, and Zhang Xiaogang’s The Bloodline: Big Family series. These works were born against the backdrop of the national rumination on Mao, called MaoCraze. On the one hand, it is noticeable that all these works still maintain a bottom line: they do not attack Mao Zedong personally. This handsomely dovetails with Deng’s early official judgment on the Cultural Revolution and on Mao, as well as the national fondness for Mao of the early 1990s.On the other hand, each director and artist showed different approaches towards the Cultural Revolution. To divide them roughly, three directors described the negative sides of the Cultural Revolution more vividly and strongly than the two artists. Such diversity is an indicator that the PRC had opened a new era, where individual voices were becoming quietly audible. Yet, at the same time, the Party’s prohibition on showing the five works in Mainland China indicates that the government’s control over the arts was still firm and that the Cultural Revolution remained a sensitive issue.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.

This paper was written with support from the National Research Foundation of Korea.