Industrial Landscapes of Socialist Realism

Although industrial landscapes today appear as one of the most alien of art forms, they were once fundamental as backgrounds of socialist realist paintings. This essay examines the legacies of two masters of the genre in China and North Korea—Song Wenzhi (1919–1999) and Chōng Yōngman (1938–1999)—and demonstrates how different revolutionary histories have led to a divergence in legacy and achievement.

Collecting the Red Era in Contemporary China

Since the 1980s the Chinese Communist Party has condemned the Cultural Revolution as ‘ten years of chaos’. Nevertheless, so far there has been very little discussion on the topic in the public sphere in China. This essay looks into how private collections of red relics can be used to confront this void in China’s recent past. It argues that collected objects play a much more complex role in history production than we may think, as they contribute to the construction of narratives, put forth counter-narratives, and fragment the very idea of historical narrative altogether.

Ai Weiwei’s #Refugees: A Transcultural and Transmedia Journey

After spending years advocating for human and civil rights in China, Ai Weiwei is now employing his artistic abilities and his sizeable social media presence to sensitise the West to the plight of the refugees who attempt to reach Europe from the Middle East and Africa. In doing so, he is putting European governments rather than the Chinese state ‘on trial’ while adding a ‘transcultural’ dimension to his work. Still, even his most recent endeavours stem from the same philosophy he has espoused throughout his career.

Ren Hang: Bodies Without Redemption

Mostly naked, friends and models of Ren Hang appear on a rooftop with skyscrapers as the backdrop, in a forest of tall trees, in a field invaded by wild grass, in a pond with budding lotuses, on a lonely rock hit by waves, or in a bathtub amongst swimming goldfish. Their naked bodies and limbs are […]

Losing the World: After the Moose Have Gone Away

Sometimes the plans to improve people’s lives end up destroying them. When the Chinese government moved the nomadic Evenki people from the forests into urban settlements and confiscated their hunting rifles, they took away their livelihood. Gu Tao’s film The Last Moose of Aoluguya documents how people survive, or slowly destroy themselves, after the catastrophe of losing their world.

Paradise under Construction

Zhao Liang’s recent film Behemoth (beixi moshou) is a cinematic meditation on the Anthropocene—the current geological epoch marking ‘a new phase in the history of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces become intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other.’ Composed from documentary footage of natural and human […]

Zhao Liang’s recent film Behemoth (beixi moshou) is a cinematic meditation on the Anthropocene—the current geological epoch marking ‘a new phase in the history of the Earth, when natural forces and human forces become intertwined, so that the fate of one determines the fate of the other.’ Composed from documentary footage of natural and human […]

Subscribe to Made in China

Made in China publications are open access and always available as a free download. To subscribe to email alerts for each issue of the Journal, newly published books, and information about upcoming events, please provide your contact information below.


Back to Top