Article 45 of the Common Program
Article 45 of the Common Program

Literature and art shall be promoted to serve the people, to awaken their political consciousness, and to enhance their enthusiasm for labour. Outstanding works of literature and art shall be encouraged and rewarded. The people's drama and cinema shall be developed.

At the All-China Congress of Literary and Arts Workers
"Already in its name, the congress announced a change: it included the neologism “literary and arts workers” (wenxue yishu gongzuozhe), signaling the intention to redefine the identity of artists and writers as part of the working class." Yan Geng (2018). Mao’s Images Artists and China’s 1949 transition J.B. Metzler. Page 2
, held in Beijing from July 2 until July 27, 1949, the Congress affirms Mao Zedong's Speeches at the Yan'an Forum of Literature and Art
Mao Zedong wrote previously in 1940 in his "On new democracy" "A given culture is the ideological reflection of the politics and economics of a given society. There is in China an imperialist culture which is a reflection of imperialist rule, or partial rule, in the political and economic fields." and he continues "The new-democratic culture is the anti-imperialist and anti-feudal culture of the broad masses; today it is the culture of the anti-Japanese united front. This culture can be led only by the culture and ideology of the proletariat, by the ideology of communism, and not by the culture and ideology of any other class. In a word, new-democratic culture is the proletarian-led, anti-imperialist and anti-feudal culture of the broad masses."
as guiding principle, that literature and art should serve politics and serve the worker, the peasant and the soldier. The Congress did not change, but rather confirmed, the relationship between literature and art on the one hand and politics on the other, and drew up guidelines for creating literary works. It followed that political criteria should always take priority over artistic criteria in the evaluation of art. But art should not be mere propaganda (education) but also provide accessible entertainment to the masses. Writers and artists have to educate the masses and they have to learn from the masses. At this congress Zhou Enlai divides artists into two groups: “new art workers” who had worked in the Communist base and “old artists” from the Nationalist-controlled area. Political report to Congres of literature and art workers The Congress ends in the founding of the China Federation of Literary and Art Circles (FLAC). The federation is a union of various literary and art associations, which include the Chinese Writers’ Association, the Chinese Musicians’ Association, the Chinese Film Workers’ Association, the Chinese Dramatists’ Association, the Chinese Dancers’ Association, the Chinese Ballad Singers’ Association, the Chinese Artists’ Association, the Chinese Calligraphers’Association, the China Society for the Study of Folk Literature and Art, the Chinese Photographers’ Society, and the Chinese Acrobats’ Association. All these associations are people’s cultural organizations.
In 1949 the CCP starts to eradicate all cultural expressions from capitalist countries and cultural traditions from China’s imperial past. "In the absence of the old culture, a new culture with a new set of values and concepts had to be established not only for mass consumption but more importantly, for the new regime to win popular support and turn the public into “new citizens.” However, in the immediate post-liberation era it was not realistic for the Chinese regime to quickly build a new culture entirely from scratch, nor was it necessary to do so when such a culture could be readily imported from the “Soviet big brother” and modified to suit the needs of the CCP"
Li Yan (2012) In search of a socialist modernity movies. The Chinese introduction of Soviet culture. Page 18
After 1949 the mindset of the ‘people’ has to alter. Workers are no longer portrayed as "… victim of severe exploitation and mistreatment’, a role characterized by passivity and submissiveness. The new political culture and political discourse not only consolidated a new form of worker subjectivity, but wrought enormous changes on the urban fabric itself."
Gang Luo (2012) Socialist Shanghai, the struggle for space, and the production of space: a reading of the urban text and the media text. Page 475
A city like Shanghai is no longer seen as a city of consumption but by transition (urban planning for Shanghai has ideological considerations; making the working class master of their own affairs, changing the colonialist face of the city, and demonstrating the superiority of socialism) changed to one of production. This transformation evokes resistance and in 1951 a meeting of more than eight hundred artists and writers is held.
Zhou Yang
Zhou Yang (1908-1989) Vice chairman of the China Federation of Literary and Arts Circles
"listed three major mistakes of artists: emphasizing individual experience over identifying with the masses, being reluctant to engage in the work of popularization, and ignoring the study of political ideology "
Geng Yan (2018).Mao’s Images Artists and China’s 1949 transition. Page 6
In 1953 the emphasis changes from popularization into "socialist realism". Zhou Yang stresses the importance of the Party’s policy as the guideline of art production and "...that it was essential for artists to depict the relation between the Party and the people, the leadership of the Party, the model Party members, and the merits of the people’s democracy system. In the meantime Zhou Yang stressed that socialist realism must have nationalistic style and rigor. The new task of artists and writers, he said, was to systematically study the native heritage so that socialist realism would be rooted in China’s own tradition and to transform the tradition into new people’s art."
Geng (2018).Mao’s Images. Pages 6-7
Art creates also prestige on an international scale. Culture exchanges is an instrument in the cold war. Both the SU and the US try to expand their sphere of influence. One of the instruments is cultural diplomacy. In East Asia the US focuses on Taiwan and Hong Kong to counter the growing influence of the SU on the mainland. The SU is the coordinator of a cultural network from Eastern Europe to Korea and Vietnam in the east. The exchanges consist of mutual visits and performances by delegations of writers, orchestras, and artists and also in interactions between students in arts. "The arrival of visiting delegations from the Soviet Union in particular provided the newly founded nation with legitimacy and proved that the PRC was accepted as member of the socialist world.""
Volland Nicolai (2008) Translating the Socialist State: Cultural Exchange, National Identity, and the Socialist World in the Early PRC. Page 55

Movies ....

American Movies , Chinese Movies, Soviet Movies
In his talks Mao Zedong makes no mention of movies, but the same guiding lines apply for this art form.
Andrews (1990)notices: "Distinction is made here between meishu, art that is limited to the visual arts, and the much broader term yishu, arts. Yishu encompasses meishu, but also includes drama, opera, music, and film, realms of greater immediate concern to Mao than pictorial art. The title of Mao’s 1942 cultural manifesto, “Yan’an Talks on Literature and Art” refers to yishu."Andrews, Julia F. (1990). Traditional Painting in New China: Guohua and the Anti-Rightist Campaign. Note7 Page 561
The CCP recognizes the importance of films as an easy way to reach a big audience with their political messages.
The CCP formulates several goals for the film industry. It has to establish an independent and self-sufficient national cinema as an instrument to propagate its policy and ideology. "… and create a revolutionary aesthetics that negotiates foreign cinematic precedents (classical Hollywood narration, Soviet montage, and Japanese animation techniques, for instance) with Chinese aesthetic traditions in literature, opera, drama, and painting.”
Chan Ka Yee (2012). Looking to the East: Chinese Revolutionary Cinema 1949-1966. PhD. university of Minnesota. Page 12
Cinema is seen as a modernization project, it reflects the ongoing socialist construction in China. Between 1949 and February 1951 the 7 private studios receive loans totaling 21 million yuan. The government also provides film stock and equipment. Immediately the new regime starts to promote the viewing of movies. They use different methods to achieve this.
First of all they reduce the price difference between movie theatres and in so doing made the theatres more accessible to ordinary citizens. “Likewise the number of film exhibitions outlets nationwide increased rapidly (…). Upon ‘liberation’ there were approximately 600 movie theaters in China, most of which concentrated in large coastal cities.5 The total number of exhibition outlets in 1960 was reported to be 16,849, which included 2,020 movie theaters, 3,051 film clubs and 11,151 film projection teams. At this point, the entire film exhibition system employed 66, 687 workers.”
Zhou Chenshu (2016). The versatile film projectionist: How to show films and serve the people in the 17 years period, 1949–1966. Journal of Chinese Cinemas, Page 5
Secondly they organize travelling film exhibition teams to bring films to remote areas throughout the country. The film projectionist has an important task in tailoring film experience to different audiences, “(they) spoke local dialects or ethnic languages and even adopted various forms of folk art (folk song, folk opera, etc.) to introduce a film before the film screening and to comment on the film during the screening so that the audience would correctly “appreciate” the film. After each film screening, seminars or discussion groups were organized to reinforce the intended political message."
Lu Xiaoning (2008). Biopolitics and Cinema: Practices, Representations, and the Moulding of the Socialist Subject in China, 1949-1966. PhD. Thesis Stony Brook University. Page 11
The training of the film projectionists is a state project. The Central Film Bureau starts a three-month schooling program for over 1800 projectionists. Later on tens of thousands of projectionists are sent to film theaters, factories, universities, mines, armed forces and the countryside.
Thirdly they organize several film weeks in several cities across the mainland. In 1950 in Beijing a People’s Democratic Republic Nations film week is organized which shows movies from eight communist countries. In the following 2 years only the Soviet Film Exhibition is launched nationwide. For example in big cities like Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou but also in southwestern and northwestern provincial capitals. (For instance, in 1954, a Soviet film week was held in thirty Chinese cities.) "Official statistics reveal that between 1949 and 1956, 19 exhibitions known as ‘Film Weeks’ (dianyingzhou) and featuring films from 12 countries were launched in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) (Chronicles 2005, 31)."
Ma Ran (2016). A genealogy of film festivals in the People’s Republic of China: ‘film weeks’ during the ‘Seventeen Years’ (1949–1966), New Review of Film and Television Studies, 14,1, Pages 40-41. See also Document: 12-01-1954 Decision concerning Establishing a Film Screening Network and a Film Industry
In October 1949 a film censorship regulation is issued. 3 types of films are prohibited: anti-communist, anti-Soviet Union and those which are racist, pornographic or superstitious. The directive left much room for interpretation.
Document: 22-02-1949 Instructions to Peng Zhen and Others concerning Agreeing to Organize a Film Examination Committee in Beiping.
After 1949 until May 1951 hundreds of prerevolution Chinese films are shown in Shanghai, along with Hong Kong movies. Although there were still a small number of martial arts productions between 1938 and 1949, the genre disappeared altogether on the Chinese mainland for three decades.
The Hong Kong Wenhua Studio still made martial movies in Cantonese for the mainland market, for example: "Xue Gang's Adventure in the Lantern Festival" released in July 1949 and "Hu Weiqian Smashes the Engine Room" (1950).
In 1949 almost 70% of the shown movies are of American origin. In the spring of 1950 a new quota system is announced. 50 to 55% of the screen time is reserved for domestic productions, 20 to 25% for SU films and no more than 20 to 30% is reserved for US and British movies.

Source: Matthew David Johnson, “International and wartime origins of the propaganda state : the motion picture in China, 1897-1955” University of California, San Diego 2008 Page 423

This quota system is partly introduced to reduce the influence of American movies and partly under pressure of many Chinese well-known directors, scriptwriters, and movie start in order to protect the native film industry. “The CCP did not want to repeat the Nationalist mistake of alienating itself from the urban population and did not deem it wise to ban all Hollywood films because they were very popular in Shanghai. As Xia Yan, Deputy Director of the Office of Cultural Commission, put it, "We can change the old political system overnight, but not people's habits and taste for things ... for this and other reasons, we decided not to do anything too drastic about American films.,,20 In line with this policy, Beijing's Film Bureau recruited employees knowledgeable about American films to ensure competence and fairness in its dealings with Hollywood. 21”
Xiao Zhiwei (2004). The Expulsion of American Films from China, 1949-1950, Twentieth-Century China, 30:1. Page 66
After 1949 most workers in the film industry kept their job, only active collaborators with the Japanese occupiers are punished and removed from the film industry.
American Movies
Until November 1950 American movies are shown in Shanghai, as are hundreds of prerevolution Chinese films. The main reason for allowing these movies is that an immediate ban will lead to economic problems for the cinemas. The CCP starts a campaign in which the act of watching American movies is seen as decadent, unprogressive and unpatriotic. In 1922 the CCP already denounces American movies for being over-sexualized, unhealthy. Chen (2007) cites an article which “…suggested that American films used sexual imagery to seduce the Chinese, and that watching American films was like smoking opium for the ways in which it enabled imperialism to flourish in China."
Chen Tina Mai (2007). "Socialism, Aestheticized Bodies, and International Circuits of Gender: Soviet Female Film Stars in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1969" Journal of the Canadian Historical Association, 18, 2. Page 74
In October 1950 after the invasion of the Chinese People's Volunteers (CPV) in Korea, American and British movies are banned, and the control on Chinese private studios became tighter. ” Some, including several Cantonese films, were simply restricted to limited engagements at a handful of theaters, essentially creating massive financial losses for their producers.”
Johnson Matthew David (2008). International and wartime origins of the propaganda state : the motion picture in China, 1897-1955. Page 89
During the sanfan campaign (see Article 18 ) several film makers are accused of financial malfeasance and former filmmaker of the GMD occupied areas are suspected of wrong thoughts.
Chinese Movies
As soon as the CCP controlled the northeast of China the Japanese film studio was taken over. The Northeast Film Studio became the first state-owned film studio of the PRC. In 1950 the studio had finished 13 feature films. Between 1949-1954 the dominant tone of filmmaking is (melo)drama. . “The urgent tasks for New China cinema were to legitimize the new social order and to mobilize people to participate in socialist construction by appealing to their emotions. This was illustrated in the two slogans - "worker-peasant-soldier films" and "representing grand subjects" - that had been promulgated as guidelines for filmmaking in the formative years of PRC cinema.1”
Bao Ying (2008). The Problematics of Comedy: New China Cinema and the Case of Lü Ban. Modern Chinese Literature and Culture, 20, 2, Foreign Language Publications. Page 195
The influence of the Hong Kong film industry should not be underestimated. Johnson (2008) states “Often overlooked in histories of the mainland film industry, Hong Kong also represented an important location for Communist networking and cultural organization prior to takeover, as well as an important conduit through which artistic talent was recruited back to Shanghai after 1949. Some of the most prominent Communist affiliated writers and filmmakers—including future central leaders Guo Moruo, Mao Dun (Shen Yanbing), Yang Hansheng, Xia Yan, Yu Ling, and Ouyang Yuqian—had gathered there in mid-1948 to escape Nationalist capture.”
Johnson (2008). International and wartime origins. Page 353
From 1950 on, an annual production plan is developed and the content has been determined. The themes are: CCP’s struggle against the Japanese and the GMD; the socialist construction; land reform ; world peace (Korea War); minorities; science; historical figures, especially peasant rebels, patriotic heroes and heroines, and artists and scientists; adaptations of literary classics and Chinese mythologies and other subjects including public security personnel, scientists, teachers, medical workers, students, children, and fishermen. In 1953 the Central News Documentary Film Studio is founded, it produces films with topics on national news, military life, natural scenery and sports events.
In the beginning Chinese directors considered the American movies as their source of inspiration, they try to mix the political correctness and commercial appeal. Bao (2008) notices “The Western lifestyle and the Hollywood model that the film was supposed to criticize were part of its appeal, a fact both critics and the audience quickly picked up.”
Bao Ying (2008). The Problematics of Comedy. Page 195
The CCP decides to reverse this trend and starts sending Chinese study group of filmmakers to the SU to learn about various practices in the Soviet film industry. They have to learn revolutionary realism and not to identify with the petty bourgeoisie and not to cater to the tastes of politically backward citizens.
Serious critique arose after the release of the movie “The life of Wu Xun” (February 1951). The film was a great success and praised by a number of high-level Party officials (including Zhou Enlai ). Mao Zedong condemned the movie for promoting feudal culture and reactionary ideology. “Although no artists or officials were punished, the association of a film on a historical figure with reactionary ideas deterred filmmakers from moving ahead on projects they feared could bring official censure on them. Film production declined precipitously from fifty-six films in 1950 to one short film in 1951 and four feature films in 1952. Concerns for political safety overrode desires for artistic creativity for many in the film industry who were unsure of how to function in the new political environment. “
Wang Zheng (2017). Finding Women in the State a socialist feminist revolution in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1964. University of California Press. Page 170. Wang (2014) remarks "In 1951, the campaign radically disrupted the long-time cooperation between the CCP and Shanghai private studio left-wing, or progressive (jinbu), film artists. The progressive artists, who had joined the PRC film industry as both celebrities of film and important allies of the CCP, now lost their artistic and political privileges, and their filmmaking legacy was in crisis. ...Filmmakers with a Yan’an background benefited from the lack of competition with the marginalized Shanghai artists and attained higher political and artistic status." Wang Zhuoyi (2014). Revolutionary Cycles in Chinese Cinema, 1951–1979. Page 16
This clash can be interpreted as a struggle between urban-based underground (before 1949) artists with “May Fourth New Culture and left -wing literary frameworks, practices, and artistic tastes” and the rural-based CCP a predominantly military camp with peasants as its rank and file.
Wang (2017). Finding Women. Page 180
Wang (2011) argues that the campaign against the movie “The life of Wu Xun” is not only ideological but also economic. “A crucial reason for the crisis of the private studio film-making legacy was the Party’s need economically to transform the film industry from the private sector to the public sector. While private studio artists actively adapted their legacy to meet new political conditions, they fell victim to the campaign for standing in the way of this economic transformation. The campaign privileged Party authorities and critics and marginalized Shanghai private studio artists, who would change their economic position by joining state-owned studios and further remake their legacy in the hope of regaining their celebrity status.”
Wang Zhuoyi (2011) From The Life of Wu Xun to the career of Song Jingshi — Crisis and adaptation of private studio film-making legacy: 1951–1956. Page 15. "A number of new elites rose to prominence in this new order. Film critic Zhong Dianfei was one of them. Zhong quickly became an authoritative critic and cultural bureaucrat for attacking private studio films during the campaign against The Life of Wu Xun.Together with Mao’s wife,Jiang Qing, Zhong was a key member of an investigation team set up to expose the protagonist Wu Xun’s “reactionary” history." Wang (2014) Revolutionary cycles. Page 8
The criticism extended to all other private studio productions. Several communist leaders (including Zhou Enlai) and directors have to make self-criticism. In 1952 all private studios are nationalized, 3 years ahead of other economic sectors. A dual process of combining state planning with financial self-sufficiency is introduced. The projection teams, a very expansive propaganda tool, are responsible for financing their own equipment. “(O)nly in poorer provinces and non-Han regions where establishing national identity was considered to be of pressing urgency were state subsidies to remain at high levels.”
Johnson (2008). Page 406

Movies about the life of minorities were distinctly different from ‘Han’ movies. The minority women ”… are dressed in colorful outfits with carefully decorated and distinctly female accessories, women that make embroidery for their lovers and sing songs and play music for them. All these gender specific depictions of women, which were taboo in most films in the Seventeen Years Period, are performed without disguise. While these ethnic minority women were allowed to embrace their femininity and individualized practices, they were not a self-defined femininity and set of practices, rather at set defined by the framework of the CCP’s identity building, unifying, and women’s emancipation political campaigns. Because minority women’s “femaleness,” a gender identity longed for by their Han counterparts, was and continues to be used as a function of “internal Orientalism,” the seeming versatility and freedom it provides for its onscreen beneficiaries remained constrained by this framework.”
Brown Laura Damara (2012). Filmic discourse on ethnic minority women in Chinese cinema: Women’s liberation and national identity in the Seventeen Years Period. Master thesis. Colombia university. Page 47

Source: Johnson V. (2008).International and wartime origins of the propaganda state : the motion picture in China, 1897-1955” University of California, San Diego. Page 380

On August 1, 1952 the PLA Film Studio is founded. It produces films for military indoctrination.
The PRC exported 1309 films in the period between 1949-1957. These films films were sent to both socialist and non-socialist countries, with the percentage of full-length films sent to socialist countries ranging from a high of 77.4 per cent in 1951 to a low of 38 per cent in 1957. The films reached global audiences of over 344 million with many featured in international film festivals. Of these exported films, 662 were full-length feature films, 156 full-length documentaries, 18 short scientific films (only after 1955) and 473 other short films. (Of which more than 386 after 1954).
Chen T. M. (2009). International film circuits and global imaginaries in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–57. Page 150
Chen (2009) emphasizes the importance of this export “We need to consider how Chinese films portraying struggles against imperialist forces and the Guomindang not only promoted a national narrative for consumption within China but, through specific export patterns in Eastern Europe, allowed China to claim a position in revolutionary history second only to the USSR.”
Chen (2009). International film circuits. Page 154
The page Chinese movies 1949-1954 shows the production of mainland movies between 1949-1954.
Soviet Movies
As in many other aspects of the Chinese society “learning from the SU” is introduced in the Chinese film making. Beginning with re-editing, translating and dubbing of Soviet movies. (In the period between 1949-1954 more than 60 SU movies are translated or dubbed) Most of the audience are not familiarized with SU movies. Nor with the Soviet culture and history. By “…providing an introduction before the show, explaining the plots during the show, and holding discussions after the show,” film projection teams brought home to the audience the meaning of each Soviet film.”
Li (2012) In search of a socialist modernity movies. Page 173. "China’s increased film import through Sovexportfilm (the film import and export department of the USSR) and the popularity of these films among Chinese audiences greatly pleased Soviet cultural authorities, who attached much importance to creating and maintaining the Soviet image and popularizing Soviet ideology via the distribution of cinema. As a result, the prestige that Soviet culture enjoyed in China enhanced Sino-Soviet alliance, which gave more status to the young socialist state in the international arena. In this way, the introduction of Soviet culture paved the way for China’s internationalization amid Cold War isolation from the capitalist camp.13" Li (2012), Page 16-17
Later several Chinese film makers are sent to Moscow to learn from the Soviet directors. The Soviet movies are considered as “ideologically correct” and are seen as a model of socialist cinema. The Soviet movies are studied and the doctrine of “socialist realism” is made the guiding principle of moviemaking. Besides distrust of the class biases of the directors of the private film studios, a third reason to "learn from SU" is the belief in proletarian internationalism. Soviet World War II films are shown to CPV soldiers to show that this war is part of the struggle of socialist states to survive.
See Chen Tina Mai (2004). Internationalism and cultural experience soviet films and popular Chinese understandings of the future in the 1950s. Pages 85, 94
The Soviet movies showed a vision of the future of China not only in economic but also social “Using the image of “happy, emancipated women” in Soviet films as a concrete example, the CCP furnished women with basic knowledge about socialism and the path for “women’s liberation.” At the same time, by advocating the socialist womanhood idealized by Soviet cinema, the PRC government educated Chinese women along party lines about how to handle relations between the state and the individual, how to manage love, marriage, family, and work, and why one should bring all this in line with the “historical task” of building socialism in China. In this way Soviet films helped the Chinese government quickly incorporate the female population into socialist state formation.” But not only for women the SU is an example. "For the CCP, Soviet culture represented the most advanced socialist achievements and therefore would be the most suitable material for creating China’s 'socialist new man.'" Page 18
Li (2012). In search. Page 190
See also Article 6.
As the Chinese spectators become more used to the Soviet movies, the popularity increases. Movies like Tractor Drivers (1939; PRC 1951), Kuban Cossacks (1949; PRC 1950), and Tales of the Siberian Land (1947; PRC 1951) The Fall of Berlin (1949; PRC 1950) Village Schoolteacher (1947; PRC 1950), She Defends the Motherland (1943; PRC 1951). Village Schoolteacher and She Defends the Motherland were among the first films to be imported into the PRC and dubbed in Chinese in 1950. The founding of two dubbing studios in Changchun (1949) and Shanghai (1950) helped to broaden the scope of audiences for foreign films. The audience numbers for Tractor Drivers and Kuban Cossacks exceeded 17 million each in their first two years of circulation. Soviet actors and actress are increasingly popular.

Source: Tam King-fai and Wesoky Sharon R. (2017) Not Just a Laughing Matter: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Political Humor. Springer. Page 61 "
The new regime starts promoting SU movies as the new model of filmmaking. The Chinese films produced after 1949 reflect more and more the CCP’s political and ideological agenda and less the taste of the audience.

Literature ....


Songs , Opera, Drama Miscellaneous
In this section several forms of story telling by live performers for a live audience are described. This is not intended to be an exhaustive delineation. The CCP maintained a strong emphasis on theatrical activities of a mass-oriented mission with particular attention focused on workers and soldiers. The drama continued its service to the political needs of the nation. " In 1953 alone, the state-owned theater troupes gave more than 41,000 performances to an audience of over 45,070,000. Of the total performances, 5,200 were staged in the factories and mines with an audience of 7,910,000; more than 2,500 performances were given in the countryside to an audience of 4,140,000. For the armed forces the number of performances exceeded 5,600 audiences comprised of 7,360,000 soldiers."
Tung Constantine (1987). Drama in the People's Republic of China. Page 4
From 1953 onwards Russian drama instructors are invited to teach in Beijing and Shanghai (East China Branch of the Central Drama Institute)
Lü Ji
Lu Ji (1909-2002) President of the the Association of Chinese Music Workers and vice president of the Central Conservatory of Music in Beijing.
states: "We have to realize that the age of piano and violin has gone, it was an old view of the bourgeois individualism epoch. But now it is a new era of the masses. The new music is also in the age of the masses music. The masses music should take vocal music as the major part rather than the musical instruments especially the Western solo instruments including piano and violin"
Cited in Liu Wei (2011). Chinese chorus (contributions to the Chinese choir history) Page 134
He Luting
He Luting (1903-1999) Vice president of the the Association of Chinese Music Workers and president of Shanghai Conservatory of Music.
disagrees and "the general political theory could not replace the specific music theory and techniques. Music was an art which should be practiced with proper techniques. Whether you admited these techniques or not, the level of techniques played a major and decisive role in music. From this point of view, he criticized those “musicians” who had never studied music systematically and had no knowledge in music techniques but only had political enthusiasm, ..."
Cited in Liu Wei (2011). Chinese chorus Page 134
Soon the idea of class perspective of music gets the overhand and although many Chinese musicians create a large amount of choral works in order to serve for the war in Korea, (Examples are Yalu River by Ma Sicong, Feihu Mountain Cantata by Zhang Wengang, An Immortal Soldier Huang Jiguang by Shi Yuemeng and Hero Yang Gensi by Zhang Ru.), they are criticized for paying too much attention to human sympathy or kindness and the story in the work seems untrue.
After the Rectification movement of 1942 students start to collect folksong all over the country.
Harrison David (2006). The Politics Underlying the Art Movements in China During two key Ten-year Periods: {1945-1955 Liberation} and {1985-1995 Opening} "The common man has always enjoyed Chinese folk music for centuries, generations always passing on their local songs to younger generations." Page 26
After 1949 this research continues. Professional musicians adept most of these songs to bring them to a higher level. Local song and drama groups are nationwide founded. These songs are less subjected to the restriction of ‘proletarian’ music. "Not only the scope of subject selection became wider but also technical treatment turned to be more flexible. They had a common characteristic that they were full of folk emotional appeal and flavor as well as human kindness. "
Cited in Liu (2011). Chinese chorus Page 140
The folk songs are an important propaganda tool. These adepted songs reflect and glorify the common man and the common soldier fighting either against the GMD or Japan. They are used in "... the liberated areas to persuade the masses to think 'revolution' via an approach of 'communality' found through folk themes that everyone was familiar with and could understand."
Harrison (2006). The Politics Underlying the Art Movements. Page 26. Harrison describes the role of the composers: "Composers played a vital role in developing politically correct, pleasant sounding, nationally transportable songs. This is no easy task when much of China, then and now, is divided internally between various language, cultural and physical barriers. For a song to be politically useful, thereby successful, it must be carefully structured and balanced. One structure was to model a new song after a previously written Western song's instrumentation, then modify the lyrics; note this does not mean the lyrics were simply translated, most song lyrics were not direct translations but rather a complete stripping of the original foreign lyrics overlaid with strikingly different Chinese ones. Another structure was to model a song with revolutionary lyrics laid over previously written or new Chinese folk instrumentations. Both these structures proved extremely important to the development of the new musical nationalism after Liberation when a composer could utilize these two structure-tools in order to both promote a sense of new rebellion, as seen with the use of Western instrumentation, as well as to promote a sense of nationalistic 'China for Chinese' as seen with the creation of revolutionary folk songs." Page 26

Drama the dynamics of the plot all had significant changes influenced by the sadness of war, the joys of liberation and the need for the Party's internal cohesion. In drama, the goal, as in literature, was to mobilize the masses in an effort to help the state. The usage of 'vernacular' language during this period was in itself a 'revolutionary statement'. Taking the refined language traditionally found in drama and replacing it with the spoken language of the common man. Both Teahouse (1957) and The Soldier Beneath the Neon Light(1963) were written during a period when literature was used as a tool to voice the policies of the 50's that were concerned with seeking out counter-revolutionaries or Rightists.

Architecture ....

Political demands limit the freedom of architectects like in all other art forms in the PRC. The economic situation in the period of 1949-1954 was very unstable, resources were limited. Yet until 1952 architects are still building expensive projects. Lack of supervising tended to provide much profit for the private design firms. In august 1952 the government states:
“'The reconstruction work in the previous years cost the state too much, and the waste was astonishing because many projects had been dealt with improperly... The construction must accord with the policy that building construction should be above all, sufficient, safe and economical; only then could aesthetic issues be considered to a certain degree if the economic conditions allowed. The "formalism”, i.e. building purely for the sake of appearances must be avoided”
Zhang Jie (1991). City building, conservation and architecture in China with the special reference to qufu.Page 16
The government decides to form a State Construction Commission that will control and supervise all major construction works. The commission puts up an priority construction list: state defense, industrial construction (factories, power stations, and storage houses), then civic construction and finally restoration of existing properties. Most of these projects are realized in new industrial areas, and administrative structures are realized outside major cities and in the most rural regions.
From 1952 onwards the influence of the SU in architecture becomes bigger. Like the SU architects the Chinese begin to seek for “socialist content and national form”. As Modernism was considered as originated in the West and was therefore denounced as a capitalist architectural style. The architects are confronted with a big problem "..(they) had to resurrect an architectural past only to render their vision of the built environment locally familiar, not to engage in backward- looking historicism and glorification of a repressive feudalism that they found abhorrent."
Rowe Peter G. and Kuan Seng (2002). Architectural encounters with essence and form in modern China. Page 97
"...architecture was, however, never so highly-regarded in China as means of ‘advancing political goals’ and the ‘distribution and use of political power’19. The ‘national style’ was not a mere preference but a matter of national policy20 necessary to establish, and differentiate, its newfound nationalist and socialist identity."
Surya Shirley (2010). How modern is modern architecture in China (1949-1979)? Probing for the modern movement through shifts in the state, industrialisation and style in China’s architectural production. Page 73
To put it simply, a Chinese roof was set on a modern structure. Often the buildings are pompous and with heavy constructions and can be considered as monumental palatial architecture. At the of 1954 however this style is condemned in the SU because it lacks economic efficiency and China followed suit. Zhou Enlai states in September 1954"...more than a few cities, institutions, schools, and businesses have undertaken some overly lavish construction, willingly exhausting the limited resources of the country."
15-09-1954 Zhou Enlai "Report to the First Session of the First NPC"
From now on suitability, safety, and economy have to be the main features and when the economic conditions permit, attention can be paid to aesthetics of the buildings.
"From 1952, the Communist Party planned to transform Beijing, the ancient Chinese cultural and political center, into an industrial and bureaucratic city with an extended immigrant population. According to this plan, thousands of old houses, gateway structures, and traditional streets were to be demolished. Worst of all, what was considered the best remaining old citywall in the world, the Beijing city-wall was scheduled to be removed. Some outstanding architects strongly objected to this plan. Liang (Sicheng) and other scholars even provided alternative design solutions (The Proposal on the Location of the Administrative Central District of the Central People's Government) for preserving these old buildings while promoting economic development."
Hu Xiao (2006). Preserving the Old Beijing: The First Conflict between Chinese Architects and the Communist Government in the 1950s. Page 2 See also Wong Sidney (2015). Searching for a modern, humanistic planning model in China: The planning ideas of Liang Sicheng, 1930-1952. Journal of Architectural and Planning Research, 32, 4. Pages 324-345
The city walls are considered the symbol of feudal exploitation.
"Between 1949 and 1957, the level of investment in housing was about 10 percent of the total investment in capital construction and massive housing construction eased housing shortages, while the housing systems, designs and technical standards employed then had provided the foundation for housing development for the next 30 years.14 These were largely in the form of ‘standardised multi-floor residential buildings’ built across China15 based on the Soviet’s model of the ‘industrialised building system’, whose basic features were ‘design standardisation, mass production and systematic construction’ of building components and dwelling unit layouts.16"
Surya (2010). How modern is modern architecture in China. Page 48

In designing residential areas the most important issues are to accommodate more and more people and to save as much land as possible. Building constructions have priority, environmental matters are of lesser importance.The development of housing has a minor status (it is non-productive component in the buildup of capital), economic growth comes first. Shortly after 1949 housing design follows the pattern of houses arranged in parallel blocks, oriented north-south, to enable the sunlight into the homes and to use the prevailing winds as ventilation. This design follows ancient tradition. The traditional courtyard system is abandoned. These new houses are located near factories, to win more support from the working class. Caoyang New Village in Shanghai can be considered as a model.
Xingfu Village in the Chongwen Gate area of Beijing. Gang (2012) notices "The Caoyang New Workers’ Village, Shanghai’s first of its kind, became a symbol for a newly hegemonic working class, a symbol to be broadcast all over the city and all over the country." "Considered as an ideological product, the New Workers’ Villages brought to the stage the force of a new political power, symbolizing the new political orientation of the new regime, and in this new form of space fashioned a dream of a new golden age, a prototypical prefiguration of the ‘communism’ to come."Gang (2012) Socialist Shanghai. Page 479
The neighbourhood unit schema is adopted to plan large-scale residential development. The construction starts in September 1951 and the first phase ends in April 1952. "The plan was divided into three hierarchical levels: neighbourhood, cluster and village. Each cluster had its own nurseries, kindergartens and primary schools. Primary schools and kindergartens were located within easy walking distance (less than ten minutes) but on independent sites. The village had community facilities such as co-op shops, post offices, cinema theatres and cultural clubs at the centre while commercial establishments at the periphery."
Lu Duanfang (2006). Travelling urban form: the neighbourhood unit in China. Page 377. In the first phase of the development of the village the kitchens and toilets are public
In 1953 critical SU specialist call Caoyang monotone and barracks-like. They introduce the SU super-block. Buildings should not be lower than 4 or 5 storeys, have an unified design and provide green spaces arranged around a quadrangle with public facilities (cultural and welfare facilities) in the centre. (e.g. Beijing Baiwanzhuang residential area 1953). These SU designs are soon abandoned because they take too little into account the typical Chinese climate.

Landscape design
This section focusses on public park design. During the 1930’s and 1940’s new parks were not crated and existing ones were falling into disrepair.
The old summer palace and its garden in Beijing are constantly looted. "Other beneficiaries of the theft of stones (bricks and rockeries) were the new public parks, universities and libraries of the city. The plunder of bricks, roof tiles, slabs of stone, wooden supports, pipes and so on continued daily for some thirty years; and well into the 1950s there were reports that the antique markets of Liuli Chang I were still offering bric-a-brac from the palaces." Barme Geremie R. (1996). The gardens of perfect brightness, a life in ruins. Page 140
In 1949 there are only 112 public parks on the mainland. Restauration of existing parks and creation of new parks occurs as a by-product of the Patriotic Health Campaign, which starts in 1952. During this campaign volunteer labors are mobilized to clean urban and rural areas. Zones unsuitable for building are designated as (future) parks. Examples of these parks are Dragon Pool park and Joyous Pavilion park (1952) in Beijing. "Yet despite the physical and artistic shortcomings these parks were eagerly adopted as a clear representation of the new age since they had been created by the ordinary people who were enthusiastic and proud whilst participating in these projects as an act of patriotism"
Zhao Jijun (2008). Thirty years of landscape design in China (1949-1979): The era of Mao Zedong. Page 67
These parks are seen as revolutionary effort to promote socialism. Parks are named ‘People’s Park’, ‘Liberation Park’, ‘Martyrs Park’ or named after revolutionary figures (Lenin, Lu Xun). Party leaders like Chen Yi (Shanghai) or Mao Zedong (Tianjin) often make the inscriptions of the names of these parks. Mao Zedong also decided to retain the name of ‘Joyous Pavilion’ as it is a place of historic interest and its name should be kept. "This care of traditional past was largely a result of the national pride after the victory over the foreign imperial powers and the founding of an independent nation. This signified that, besides promoting socialism, the country's history was also Important to reinforce nationalism. As upon Liberation there were limited resources for the creation of parks it was necessary to preserve what was inherited from the past so that this would not only contribute to the nationalist spirit but also enhance park spaces both materially and culturally."
Zhao (2008). Thirty years of landscape design in China. Page 70
Due to the lack of financial resources, the parks have to be self-reliance. This is achieved for example through admission tickets, shop rents, and fish farming in water bodies.
In Beijing 1.7 million fish are released in the lakes of the Summer Palace and North Sea Park. Zhao (2008). Page 70
The ‘Park of Culture and Rest’ created in Moscow in 1928 is the model for the design of new parks in PRC. This meant that new parks (for example Star Sea park in Dalian, Canton Eelegance park in Guangzhou) are dominated by buildings which provide cultural and recreational possibilities. These buildings can be let and contribute in the financing of the parks. Besides buildings, also open-air dance floors are introduced after it became a popular pastime in the SU. (e.g. Unmoored Ferry park in Hefei)
Although the SU model is followed "...surviving historic features were upon the Liberation valued as cultural relics of the nation and were emphasized as a starting point for new design. Despite the fact that indigenous garden making was an expression of the former elite culture, it was eagerly adopted as a basis for the creation of modern parks, since it could then be demonstrated to express nationalistic values."
Zhao (2008). Page 60

Propaganda ....

It is in fact little surprising that in the project of cultural exchange, juvenile lit- erature figured more prominently than even the translations of the classic socialist authors. Across the socialist world, youth was seen as the most crucial factor in forging a common identity that would transcend national borders and coalesce around the shared ideology of the socialist bloc. Youth festivals and student ex- changes followed the same logic: providing youth across the socialist bloc with a shared experience that would bind them together as members of that new transna- tional community, the socialist world. Volland (2008) page 65

Paintings ....

Exhibitions ....

In the twentieth century several museums are established. The first modern exhibition hall is the Nantong Museum in Jiangsu province (1905). Soon more museums are built. In 1930 the GMD government issued a law on the preservation of ancient objects. "War, economic recession, social issues, and the political division of the country did not provide a fertile environment for the development of museums and galleries in China: by 1936 there were 77 of them, but only 21 survived war."
Pozzi Laura(2019). A City, its History, and its Museum(s): Making the Shanghai History Museum / Shanghai Revolution Museum. Page 8
After 1949 the new government starts a campaign to preserve cultural objects. For example the Shanghai Cultural Relics Commission is established in 1949. The CCP takes control over the art markets and persuades art connoisseurs to cooperate. Ho (2012) remarks ""…collectors were also experts (and many chose to serve PRC as consultants), members of the cultural elite of pre-1949 China were often also members of the economic elite, and at least up until the 1957 Anti-Rightist Movement, the state chose to co-opt the cultural elite and their collections."
Ho Denise Y. (2012). Reforming Connoisseurship: State and Collectors in Shanghai in the 1950s and 1960s. Page 617
Several private collections are ‘voluntary’ donated. This donation are motivated by patriotism and local pride. After wufan (see Article 30) economic hardship is also a motivation to donate or sell the collection.
Not only art museums are founded. In 1950 in Shanghai the building where the first official meeting of the CCP is held, becomes a memorial hall but soon the idea arose to transform the site into a museum with a collection of revolutionary items.
Besides museum also exhibitions are considered important propaganda tools for both mass education and mass mobilization. These displays are even on street-level, often with items from neighborhood residents themselves. "An exhibition allowed visitors to reflect on the past, awakening memories of their former lives in the so-called “old society”(jiushehui),as pre-Communist China was known. A display juxtaposed this past with the con-temporary “new society”(xinshehui),in which Chinese people had “stood up”(fanshen), the contrast between Old China and New China “stimulating the masses’ patriotic feelings.”
Ho Denise Y. (2018).Curating Revolution Politics on Display in Mao’s China. Page 2
Exhibition are to be ideological, scientific, and aesthetic, including history and narrative as well as visual and material culture.

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