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"Works of art and arts of work in China’s Great Leap Forward"
"Works of art and arts of work in China’s Great Leap Forward"
WhenTuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, 12 – 1:30 p.m.
Campus locationPadelford Hall (PDL)
Campus roomB-528
Event typesLectures/Seminars
Event sponsorsThe Confucius Institute of the State of Washington
Target Audienceopen to the public

To establish a perspective on the many different meanings of labor in the cultural productions of the Great Leap Forward, this article examines a number of visual arts produced in 1958 that celebrated the construction of the Shisanling Reservoir (十三陵水库) on the outskirts of Beijing. This reservoir construction was a showcase of the Great Leap Forward campaign, and it was meant to promote many similar projects taking place at that time. Offering close textual and contextual studies of these works, this talk analyzes how artists represented labor, which was central to both the actual operation and the abstract ideology of the Great Leap Forward. It concludes with a theoretical analysis of the meanings of arts to politics in socialism, arguing that it was not only physical labor but creative labor was also at the core of the ideological operation of Chinese socialism.

Speaker: Prof. Lai Kwan Pang, Chinese University of Hong Kong…
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