Propagandist Art, China

Art is a process of discovering hidden meanings, or hiding meanings that are prohibited from being declared.

When art and politics merge, it becomes a loud voice. It is a strong message, a way of dealing with issues, or a way out of contortion, oppression, a way to find individuality, to declare oneself.

This was the case of communist regime of Mao Zedong in China, during which time the artists had to rely on their creative power and the use of covert schemes to come to grips with, indirectly through their work, the social values that shape their culture.

Their coveted portfolios, containing consumerism, politics and mass media subjected the local art market to a trend reversal, unveiling a promise of a new world with unique techniques and styles, an unfamiliar and bewildering fascination with commercial tendencies, only insofar as it derived from democracy.

In the 90s the art world harboured deep suspicions about ‘meaning’ being accorded a sacred place in art, and power became the deciding factor in producing meaning and achieving influence.

It was confrontational, provoking, deliberate, with clear indications of how art related to and impacted the surroundings, or vice-versa: the artists used their creativity to indicate and portray their feelings about what they experienced on the outside.

Art enabled the public to escape the iron-clad enforcement on their nation, to experience the profound lightness of lawlessness, a visionary sensation of anarchy. An altered sense of space and location, it made them feel like they were travelling, being away and apart from the repression, authority and uniformity.


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