ART FOR MILLIONS. 100 SCULPTURES FROM THE MAO ERA
In conjunction with the Frankfurt Book Fair's focus on China, the SCHIRN will be showing, for the first time ever in the West, the spectacular Chinese sculptural group "Rent Collection Courtyard". This ensemble of more than one hundred life-size figures is among the most important works in modern Chinese art history and is firmly fixed in China's collective memory. Created as a site-specific installation in Dayi in 1965 by teachers and graduates of the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing, the figural group soon became a model artwork of the Cultural Revolution, which began in 1966. Several variations of the work were made and exhibited throughout China in subsequent years, only one of which survives today. In a dramatic sequence of scenes, which unites traditional Chinese, Soviet, and Western elements, the work depicts the merciless exploitation of the rural population by a rich, pre- Communist era landowner. In recent years, young Chinese artists have repeatedly returned to the work, and it has found its way into current discussions on contemporary art in China.
The sculptural group "Rent Collection Courtyard"--consisting of more than one hundred life-size figures and first created in 1965 by teachers and graduates from the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute in Chongqing--is among the most important works of modern Chinese art history and is deeply ingrained in the Chinese collective consciousness. This publication is a detailed examination of both the production and reception of this one-of-a-kind work of art, which also aroused interest outside China.