A Season of Programs Accompany the Exhibition “Graphic Ideology: Cultural Revolution Propaganda from China”


EUGENE, Ore. -- (October 2, 2017) – From artist talks to gallery tours, a full season of programs accompany “Graphic Ideology: Cultural Revolution Propaganda from China,” on view in the Coeta and Donald Barker Galley at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus through December 31. All programs are free and open to the public.   The exhibition, drawn from a private collection, features propaganda created before, during, and after China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966-76), including brilliantly designed posters, paintings, books, and memorabilia.  In addition, three contemporary works that reference imagery of the period provide a bridge to the present.


The programs begin with “The East is Red,” a talk by artist Hung Liu, who painted Chinese propaganda murals in her youth. Liu, an Emerita Professor at Mills College, will speak on Saturday, October 7, at 2 p.m.  Liu was born in Changchun, China, in 1948, and grew up in Beijing during the Cultural Revolution. Following her high school graduation in 1968, Liu was sent to labor in the countryside for four years as part of Mao Zedong’s plan to “re-educate” members of the intellectual class. During this time, she photographed and drew portraits of peasant farmers and their families. In 1972, she entered the Revolutionary Entertainment Department of Beijing’s Teachers College to study art and education, where she graduated in 1975. Liu’s background inspires her work, some of which use historical photographs as an inspiration, but her paintings are informed by ancient and modern Chinese culture as well as contemporary themes of memory, history, identity, and immigration.


“We are so grateful that Hung Liu is coming to speak about her amazing art and life experience during and after the Cultural Revolution,” said Anne Rose Kitagawa, the JSMA’s chief curator , curaor of Asian art, and organizer of the “Graphic Ideology” exhibition.


That same weekend, Kitagawa and Professor Bryna Goodman, UO’s specialist in modern and contemporary Chinese history, will lead a gallery tour on Sunday, October 8, at 2 p.m.  Sangah Kim, a former graduate student who helped to catalogue the Chinese propaganda collection and research and write labels about various works, will also participate.  After completing her M.A. in the History of Art and Architecture at UO, Kim began work at the Portland Art Museum, where she is currently the Cowles Curatorial Fellow in Asian Art.


On Sunday, October 22, at 2 p.m., Chinese University of Hong Kong Professor Laikwan Pang will present a lecture entitled “How to Conduct a Revolution with Culture? Some Core Logics of China’s Cultural Revolution, 1966-1976.”  Pang is the author of “The Art of Cloning: Creative Production during China's Cultural Revolution” (2017), a book that is required reading for many UO students taking East Asian Languages and Literatures courses taught by Professors Roy Bing Chan and Luke Habberstad.


On Sunday, November 12, at 2 p.m. independent scholar Alfreda Murck will give a talk entitled “Politics of the Personal: Mass Messaging in the Mao Era.”  Murck is author of “Mao’s Golden Mangoes” (2013) a publication devoted to one of the strangest icons of the Cultural Revolution – fruit first presented as a diplomatic gift to Mao Zedong, but then given by him to Chinese workers who had been attacked by Red Guards, so that eventually replica mangoes were paraded through the street and images the fruit were reproduced in many media as symbols of Chairman Mao’s approval.  Murck’s talk will touch on the many ways in which slogans and symbols of the Cultural Revolution infiltrated all aspects of daily life.


The “Graphic Ideology” exhibition began with a survey of more than 450 propaganda posters from a distinguished private collection conducted, under Kitagawa’s supervision,  by University of Oregon graduate students and developed through a smaller Chinese gallery rotation in Fall 2016.  The final public program associated with the current larger exhibition is a student-led gallery tour on December 3, at 2 p.m. 


The exhibition, programs, and eventual publication are made possible with generous support from the WLS Spencer Foundation; the Coeta and Donald Barker Changing Exhibitions Endowment; the Harold and Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation; the Oregon Arts Commission, and the National Endowment for the Arts; a federal agency; JSMA Academic Support grants; and JSMA members.



About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, Europe, and the Americas as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of seven museums—and the only academic art museum-- in Oregon accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,