Speaker: Mary Ginsberg, Curator of Revolution, Propaganda, Art: Printmaking in Modern China Exhibition.
Women have been relatively neglected in the visual record of China’s revolutions. Historical documentation of activist women has been greatly enriched in recent years, but many figures of the 1911 Xinhai Revolution and early Republican period are only known from illustrated broadsheets and popular prints. Wartime and revolutionary heroines of the 1930s and ’40s are more visible in prints made after 1949, especially martyrs, remembered and idealized in all graphic media.
Before the establishment of the PRC, women were much more commonly presented as glamourous, urban beauties. In the 1950s, artists transformed these women into model socialist workers. Until the end of the 1970s, almost all art had political content, and images of women conformed to propaganda requirements. Since the Cultural Revolution, women are shown as individuals, rather than types. This talk will survey Chinese women in 20th century graphics, including advertisements, popular prints and posters.
This talk is part of our series of events associated with our exhibition ‘Revolution, Propaganda, Art: Printmaking in Modern China’ in association with the Muban Educational Trust.
Image ©: Dandelion, 1959 by Wu Fan