An artistic ode to the celebration of Chairman Mao Zedong’s birthday

By Xiong Yuqing Source:Global Times Published: 2013-12-24 20:48:01

Viewing Chairman Mao in all his glory Photo: Xiong Yuqing/GT

To commemorate the 120th birthday of Chairman Mao Zedong on December 26, 120 precious artworks and poems by Mao will be displayed at an exhibition named "Giant Mao Zedong - Mao's Calligraphy and Contemporary Sculpture and Painting Exhibition" at the National Museum of China in Beijing.

The exhibition will run until March 30 and consists of three parts. The first part, which is being provided by the Central Archives, showcases Mao's written pieces and calligraphy, including 35 original poems and 85 handwritten copies of ancient poems.

In some of these works, Mao changed the sentences of ancient poems to express his own personal feelings. Among them is a poem that Mao modified for his former wife Yang Kaihui, to highlight her devotion to the revolution. 

The second and third parts are a collection of contemporary sculptures and paintings about Mao by various artists.

"Most of these works were created from 1951 to 1961, when the artists in the country were so passionate to compose for new China," said Jin Shangyi, a famous oil painter and vice chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles.

"These artworks play an important role in the revolution's art history. The exhibition not only cherishes the memory of Mao's success, but also goes into the meaning behind the composition of art," he added.

Some of the highlights of the exhibition include several well known oil paintings that are to be displayed in the third part of the exhibition, such as Founding Ceremony and Chairman Mao Going to Anyuan.

In 1952, Dong Xiwen, a professor at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, was commissioned to create Founding Ceremony, which depicts the scene of the founding of the People's Republic of China in 1949. The oil painting was first published on the front page of the People's Daily in 1953 to commemorate the new year and was then distributed across the country.

Posted in: ARTS

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