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Creating From Ashes: Huang Zhongyang’s Memories of The Shadow of Mao *

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image of Journal of American-East Asian Relations

As new immigrants to Canada, Regina painter Huang Zhongyang and other cultural workers add to our diverse visual heritage. Although he left the People’s Republic of China after the end of the Chinese Cultural Revolution, his memories of senseless violence, with Communist leader Mao Zedong pitting neighbor against neighbor, son against father, scarred his psyche, which he has turned into oil paintings. These paintings of Huang’s memories of the Cultural Revolution rarely are displayed publicly, except occasionally. The intent of this article is to discuss his paintings in relation to actual events during the 1960s to 1970s. History painting, a 19th Century European genre, has become a bygone category of art, but in the hands of Huang, memory, a postmodern concern, is aroused by these very poignant images often created after popular images taken from newspapers and television, thus reflecting the contemporary interest in photographs.

Affiliations: 1: University of Regina, Email:


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