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October 13, 2009

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Home » Feature » Art and Culture

'Red' art goes under the gavel

"RED Memory," an auction of Chinese socialist realism prints and limited-edition posters, will be held at Shanghai's Yan'an Hotel next Thursday.
The works come from the time when art was supposed to serve politics and motivate people to build China. The dominant color is red, the color of revolution and passion.
The fad today of reproducing socialist realism makes the images seem familiar. There's Chairman Mao Zedong, smiling workers, peasants and soldiers, Red Guards, and patriotic banners about building a New China.
But these are the genuine articles.
"Their value gradually increases, whether in the culture or investment area, because of the erosion of time," says Jiao An, vice president of Shanghai Duoyunxuan Auction Co Ltd.
The auction aims to increase their value.
"Stamped with a special historical period, perhaps these prints and posters do look a bit cliched," Jiao says.
The highlight is a large rice-paper print featuring Mao, created by famous local artist Dong Lianbao, renowned for his "cultural revolution" (1966-76) prints.
"This piece is an artist's proof by Dong himself. It is also the biggest print, 1.6 meters high and 60 centimeters wide, of this subject (Mao) in China," Jiao notes.
The floor price is set around 180,000 yuan (US$26,365).
"Art serving politics was essential at that time," says Jiao. "So each poster or print expressed a political task or a slogan, and the color red dominates the whole tableau."

Date: October 15, 9am
Venue: Yan'an Hotel, 1111 Yan'an Rd M.


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