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Wawa xi (Children's play)

Title: Wawa xi (Children's play)
Artist: Feng Zhen 馮真
Created: c. 1945-9
Media: print (ink on paper)
Source: Huabei Meishushe; Huada Meishu Gongchang

The original of this much celebrated print from the era of the Chinese Civil War (1945-9) is held by the National Art Museum of China in Beijing, and was included in an exhibition celebrating the 60th anniversary Mao's Talks at the Yan'an Forum in the summer of 2012. The image does not depict Chiang himself, but rather a group of children engaged in the (mock) beating of another child dressed as Chiang: note the name tag around the child's neck, the Chiang mask and the trousers made of swastika-print material. The depiction may well be of a children's huobaoju/zhivaya gazetta ('living newspaper play') in which the denunication, beating or execution of class or national enemies was acted out on the streets for propaganda purposes.

Further Reading:

Courtesy of the Empson collection, University of Sheffield Library Special Collections.