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September 17, 2008 in The China Beat


Copyright September 17, 2008. Used by permission.


Many people outside of China get their first ideas about the Cultural Revolution from reading memoirs or works of fiction that deal with the years 1966-1969 or the final decade of the Maoist era (1966-1976). It is also possible, though, to start to grapple with the meaning of that complex and traumatic period via its visual culture, and finding out about a new exhibit and a new online collection (new to me at least) has inspired this Top Five List. It includes some sites that have been mentioned before at China Beat, but seem worth referring to again.

1. The always alert Danwei bloggers have just alerted their readers to a fascinating website devoted to Cultural Revolution photographs. It’s well worth checking out their post or going straight to the website by a Cornell professor that they praise.

2. The Asia Society has a new exhibit up on “Art and China’s Revolution” (it runs through January 11), which is introduced well by Emily Parker in a recent Wall Street Journal piece that comes with a slide show, made up of powerful images on display. More images from the same show are available to click through courtesy of the New York Times.

3. I know I’m biased, since I’ve worked as a consultant on various Long Bow Group projects, but the website associated with that organization’s award-winning documentary “Morning Sun” (a film by Carma Hinton, Geremie Barmé, and Richard Gordon that was recently screened at the Asia Society to accompany the exhibit alluded to above) remains the single best place to go for a visual introduction to Cultural Revolution.