Down with Feudalism

Down with Feudalism
, 1949

Woodblock print
H.31.5 X W.22cm

Chinese National Art Gallery

Shi Lu, (1919-1982), China

As a young man Shi Lu joined the Chinese Communist Party and carried out their policy of using art to serve their political agenda.

In Down with Feudalism Shi Lu attacks Chinese feudalism. The composition employs multi levels of perspective, creating an unusual visual impact. In 1963, his rise within the party was abruptly halted when he was embroiled in personal scandal.  Following this he became increasingly discontent politically and artistically. He retreats from political subject matter into the traditional idiom, but with his own eccentric, individualistic style, employing angular, abrupt brush work; this appeared also in his calligraphy.

His writings often express more clearly his resistance against the repressive political system, and nonetheless his art at the end seems much detached from Mao’s teaching that art and literature should serve politics.



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