Huxian’s Foolish Old Men Create New Scenes: Huxian Peasant Paintings from the Cultural Revolution and their Ideological Discourses

Dean Ashton


Huxian Peasant Paintings are a product of the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Ostensibly painted by peasant amateur artists, they depict idealized peasants in rural China. The paintings were reproduced in large numbers and distributed as posters for the masses. Further evidence has shown that the amateur artists were in fact given detailed training by professional artists under the guidance of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This paper seeks to analyze the images as important political texts from the Cultural Revolution because of the influence of the CCP. Using discourse analysis, this paper argues that these posters are an important discursive formation that allowed the CCP to transmit ideology to a largely illiterate or semiliterate rural population.


Huxian Peasant Paintings; Cultural Revolution Art; Discourse Analysis; Chinese Propaganda

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Copyright (c) 2010 Dean Ashton


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ISSN 1923-1334 (Online)

University of Victoria