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Liu Chunhua (刘春华)

Liu Chunhua, with spectacles, 1968

Liu Chunhua, with spectacles, 1968

Liu Chunhua (1944) was born in Tailai, Heilongjiang Province. In 1959, he entered the secondary school attached to the Lu Xun Art Academy in Shenyang. He enrolled in the Applied Arts Department of the Central Industrial Arts Academy in 1963. During this period, he created his most noteworthy work, 'Chairman Mao goes to Anyuan' (毛主席去安源), ensuring him nation-wide fame. This was largely due to the fact that it was explicitly promoted by Jiang Qing as a model painting equal to the model operas and ballets (样板戏, yangbanxi) that she espoused. As such it became the benchmark for the iconographical representation of Mao.

He collaborated with Wang Hui on a number of works. After graduation, Liu engaged in various types of art work and worked as an editor at the Beijing Publishing House before he joined the Beijing Academy in 1979. Liu specializes in oil painting and Chinese painting.

In March 1998, Liu's painting, which had been purchased at the record price of US$660,000 by the Construction Bank of China, was declared a cultural relic, the first painting since 1949 to be officially recognized as such.


Sources:

Robert Benewick, "Icons of Power: Mao Zedong and the Cultural Revolution", in Harriet Evans and Stephanie Donald (eds), Picturing Power in the People's Republic of China - Posters of the Cultural Revolution (Lanham, etc.: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc., 1999), pp. 123-137

"Great and Noble Image", Chinese Literature 1968, n. 9, pp. 41-47

Liu Chunhua, "Painting Pictures of Chairman Mao is our greatest happiness", China Reconstructs, October 1968, pp. 2-6

Liu Chunhua, "Singing the Praises of Our Great Leader is Our Greatest Happiness", Chinese Literature, September 1968, pp. 32-40

A Splendid Revolutionary Oil Painting, China Pictorial 1968 n. 9, pp. 12-13

Michael Sullivan, Modern Chinese Artists - A Biographical Dictionary (Berkeley, etc: University of California Press, 2006)

Yang Kelin (ed.), Wenhua dageming bowuguan [Museum of the Cultural Revolution] (Hong Kong: Dongfang chubanshe youxian gongsi, Tiandi tushu youxian gongsi 1995)

Zhongguo meishuguan (ed.), 中国美术年鉴 1949-1989 (Guilin: Guangxi meishu chubanshe, 1993)

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Chairman Mao goes to Anyuan

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