Artwork Detail

The Student Movement, from the series The East is Red
20th century
Paper-cut print
24 x 34 3/4 "
Gift of David A. Wilson, 1999
WU 1999.19.19
These paper-cut prints relate to a long-established form of folk art in China, where elaborately cut red paper designs would often be used to celebrate the Lunar New Year and other ritual occasions. They form part of a larger series, The East is Red, narrating the events that preceded the Chinese Revolution and celebrating the development of the Revolution, from the founding of the Chinese Communist Party in 1921 to the establishment of People’s Republic of China in 1949. These works were produced at a small art academy in southern China around the early 1970s, in the midst of the Chinese Cultural Revolution (1966–76). During this period Mao Zedong, chairman of the Chinese Communist Party, sought to reassert his control over the country by purging alleged bourgeois, imperialist, and capitalist influences and enforcing strict adherence to Communist ideology. Though not officially commissioned by the leadership of the Communist Party, these images of such subjects as striking students, productive agricultural workers, and rejoicing revolutionaries implicitly supported these aims. FA18 (Common Read)