After the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921, many artists and intellectuals in China saw the overthrow of 'tradition' as the means to rescue the nation from poverty and backwardness. Rejecting what thev saw as irrelevant avant-garde artistic trends, they looked to the art of the Soviet Union and anti-fascism in Western Europe, as well as to a more 'authentic' tradition of folk art. Following the outbreak of the Sino-Japanese War in 1937, artists engaged with the politics of national salvation, and the era between the defeat of Japan (1945) and the Communist Victory in 1949 saw the creation of some key works of modern Chinese culture.
The transcript and downloadable versions of the lecture are available from the Gresham College website: https://www.gresham.ac.uk/lectures-and-events/china-art-war-and-salvation-1933-1949
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