By Richard King et al. (eds.)

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Extra info for Art in turmoil : the Chinese Cultural Revolution, 1966-76

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Andrews the government’s claims and its right to persecute its citizens laid the groundwork for what would follow during the Cultural Revolution. It was only after the Cultural Revolution, with the wisdom of hindsight, that these “movements” to rectify political thinking, which dated all the way back to the early 1940s at the Yan’an communist base, were understood as part of a continuum. Privately, many individuals came to realize that their own words of condemnation in the Anti-rightist Campaign constituted not loyalty to the party, but betrayal of the innocent, a perspective gained by suffering a similar fate themselves in 1966 or 1967.

Works of art were brought out of the academy gallery for castigation. At least four faculty members, Ye Qianyu, Luo Gongliu, Li Kuchan, and Huang Yongyu, were beaten with belts and belt buckles by Red Guard students and faculty. ” During January and February of 1967, the National Assembly of Red Art Rebels met in the National Art Gallery in Beijing to attack the seventeen years of the black line in literature and art and to struggle against capitalistroaders in the art world. The “rebels” (zaofanpai) included students and young artists affiliated with art and film academies, the Chinese Artists’ Association, and institutes of Chinese painting, who had travelled to Beijing from all over the nation.

The complex composition and amusing caricatures of A Parade of Clowns are very much a product of that careful training. The legacy of her teacher’s ink painting and comic style, which includes slightly squared shoulders and knees as well as lively variations in line width, is evident in her cartoon, a stylistic heritage she did not reject even though Ye Qianyu was an early target of the Red Guards. Ye’s own penetrating characterization was clearly a model for this extraordinary work by his student.

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