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China as is well known, went through mammoth national, social, political and economic changes during Mao’s era (1949-1976) of which the Cultural Revolution, foregrounding the term “culture” was of great significance. However, the Revolution is rarely studied at “the level of rational discourse in the cultural context” (Minglu 1986, 104). This paper attempts to fill that lacuna. Following the trajectories of academic artists in China who worked under Konstantin M. Maksimov, the Soviet Art Educator, the study examines the transition of art from “importism” to the development of a unique vocabulary which was separate from the Soviet model. The genre of artworks produced is incredibly diverse in themes. However, the works I accessed in collections are patronized by very different political systems that seem to have determined the nature of the collections.[1] Employing the framework of Melissa Chiu’s concept of “transexperince”, the study excavates the generation of knowledge system around the collections in mainland China as well as Hongkong and collections held in Europe. Furthermore, it provides a historical context within which the collections were built. A close examination of these collections and reveals the departures from earlier Soviet influences to a more contextual language specific to the politics of China and the specific thematic that then evolved to address local Chinese concerns. [1] The collections accessed are – Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre; personal collection of Stefan Landberger; Chinese propaganda posters, Heidelberg University; Collection CPC - China Visual Arts Project Archive, Westminster University; and Chinese propaganda posters, Hong Kong Baptist University.  

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Sugandha Tandon (India) 8471
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