German Version


Picturing Power:
Art and Propaganda in the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution

31.1.-28.2.2001 Universitätsmuseum Heidelberg

Chairman Hua Leads Us in Drawing a New Map
Hua Zhuxi shuailing women hui xin tu

Jiang Xianhui
1978, Shanghai
Workers and peasants in the countryside gather around Chairman Hua, briefly Mao’s successor. In the background the slogans “The Foolish Old Man Moved the Mountain” and “Transform China” allude to the folk tale of the old man who stubbornly refused to be deterred even by a mountain in his way. This tale was used by Mao and the Party to exhort people to make greater efforts even when a task seemed impossible. Posters of Hua portray him in the same light as Mao, adopting the same poses and receiving the same adulation, but the results ring hollow. He was generally perceived as an apparatchik with no vision of his own and people were cynical about hero-worship after the frenzy of the Cultural Revolution. In February 1978, he outlined a highly ambitious ten year plan (soon downscaled) based on the “four modernizations” of industry, agriculture, the military, and science and technology as the key to rapid economic growth.
Yiman Liu
Last modified: Sun Jun 24 10:55:20 CEST 2001