Topic: The Magic of Mangoes: Creating Symbols during the Cultural Revolution

In August 1968 a Pakistani foreign minister presented a basket of mangoes to Mao Zedong. Chairman Mao declined to eat the fruit and instead sent them to workers.

The mangoes quickly became a symbol of Mao' s generosity and concern for the workers. A vigorous propaganda campaign encouraged that association while also promoting the message that the Red Guards were to curb revolutionary activities and take directions from the working class. This lecture attempts to explain the creation of symbols, how they acquire attributes, and why some thrive for centuries while others quickly fizzle out.

Join us on Saturday afternoon for an illustrated talk by Alfreda Murch on this fascinating topic with enticing powerpoint pictures.

About the speaker:

Alfreda Murck earned her PhD at Princeton University in Chinese art and archaeology with an emphasis on the history of Chinese painting. She worked in the Asian Art Department at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, from 1979-1991. Since 1991 she has lived with her husband Christian Murck in Taipei and Beijing. She has published articles on Chinese art and a book on the uses of poetry in painting: Poetry and Painting in Song China: The Subtle Art of Dissent (Harvard University, 2000). She is a lecturer at Peking University and at the Central Academy of Fine Arts, and serves as a translator in the Information Department of The Palace Museum.

Venue: China Culture Center, Beijing, China.
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