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Underground Art During Mao’s Cultural Revolution


Assoc. Prof. Aihe Wang (University of Hong Kong)

Datum und Zeit

01. Juni 2023, 14:00 - 15:45 Uhr


Universität Zürich, Asien-Orient-Institut, Raum ZUB 416, Zürichbergstrasse 4, 8032 Zürich


This lecture focuses on underground art and artists’ collectives during China’s Cultural Revolution. Centered on the  Wuming (No Name) painting group active in the 1970s, it explores the interconnections between art practice and community formation, and between the artists’ individual subjectivity and the group dynamics of their collective. As a history, it formed a fresh critique and innovative response to China’s radical revolutionary modernity. As an artists’ community, it facilitated transformation of a militant society, giving birth of a modernist art and modern subjectivity. And as art, it discloses an alternative modernism, bridging western modernism and Chinese aesthetics. This lecture re-evaluates the conventional narratives of modern art history in a global and comparative context.

Aihe Wang is Honorary Associate Professor at the University of Hong Kong. She is currently working on her book on underground art during China’s cultural revolution. This project began in 2013 with her membership at the Institute for Advanced Study, Princeton, and has been supported by The French National Research Agency (ANR) and Hong Kong Research Grants Council (RGC) Joint Research Scheme. Her representative works include Cosmology and Political Culture in Early China and Wuming (No Name) Painting Catalogue. Her recent articles on modern China are published in Society, China Perspectives, Twenty-First Century, and Modern Chinese History.


Sujie Jin


Asien-Orient-Institut - Sinologie