Underground Art During Mao's Cultural Revolution


Evening presentation by Dr. Aihe Wang, Associate Professor, School of Chinese, University of Hong Kong

Registration 18:15
Presentation 18:30
Close 20:00

During the latter half of the Cultural Revolution, young artists who would later call themselves the Wuming (No Name) engaged in what was then highly dangerous action — the formation of an illicit group. Their gatherings and association, like their art, were unauthorized. The Wuming was comprised of artists from two generations, different social classes, occupations, and educational backgrounds. A member of the Wuming group, Dr. Aihe Wang will examine the interconnections between such art practice and community formation through exploring three promises of this case. As a history, Wuming challenges the orthodox verdicts of the Cultural Revolution; as a community, it reveals novel social forms and forces of grass-roots transformation within a militant society; and as art, it discloses an alternative modernism and modern identity. Integrating anthropological fieldwork, historical research, and art historical analysis, engaging with the theoretical debates on modernity and its critique in a global and comparative context, Dr. Wang’s study argues that underground art and solidarity formed a fresh critique and innovative response to China’s radical revolutionary modernity.

Dr. Aihe Wang is a member of the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and Associate Professor in the School of Chinese at the University of Hong Kong. Her representative works include Cosmology and Political Culture in Early China, Cambridge University Press, 2000/2006, and the Wuming (No Name) Painting Catalogue, 13 volumes, Hong Kong University Press, 2009.


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Asia Art Archive


Event Details

Wed 28 Aug 2013
6:15 - 8 p.m.
9 Justice Drive, Admiralty, Hong Kong
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Free admission; Online Registration Required
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