Pan Yun (1905-1985) 潘韵
scan, paper, grayscale
Kunstausstellung der Volksrepublik China, Staatliche Museen Berlin, 1951:134.
national style, 国画, foundation of the People’s Republic of China, Nianhua style, tiger, dragon, Mao portrait, masses, traditional style
Pan Yun: Festive Demonstration
The same prominence of the Mao portrait can be observed in a 1950 depiction of the celebrations for the foundation of the People’s Republic as painted by Pan Yun 潘韵 (1905-1985), a national-style painter. The image became part of a travelling exhibition to (East) Berlin in 1951. In colouring and set-up, it takes up techniques from New Year Prints. It depicts the procession in a way reminiscent of tiger and dragon dances performed traditionally at festive events (and indeed, there is a dragon and a tiger accompanying the procession, too).
A huge Mao portrait in an elaborate frame with venerating curtain, carried by some of the participants in the ralley, is the focal point, at the very centre of the oblong image. The portrait is preceded by a group of dancers and musicians, many of them looking back towards the image and it is followed by the tiger, a dragon and larger and smaller banners praising the foundation of the People’s Republic, wishing Mao a long life and hoping for world peace. In the background another framed image, perhaps of Zhu De (less likely again of Mao, but it is difficult to make out this image), is carried by the demonstrators.
It is significant that Mao’s main image is clearly predominant, it is never to be put into doubt. In this regard, the artwork would have been acceptable throughout the Cultural Revolution, bearing in mind its traditional style, however, perhaps more likely in the second half of the Cultural Revolution. Again, as with the artistic depictions of ralleys and processions during the Cultural Revolution, these artistic interpretations of the events in 1949 are not purely fictional, they echo some of the documentary photographs from actual 1950s ralleys, featuring Mao in prominence and repetition as well (e.g. Yang 1995:20-21).