Epilogue: More Than an Image of Mao
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Published on February 1, 1950, the preface to the inaugural issue of the official journal People’s Art called upon all of China’s art workers to fully engage in the production of propaganda. Evoking Mao’s 1942 Yan’an talks, the preface emphasized the need to remold the thoughts of artists so that their works could mobilize the people for the construction of a new China (1950d). This suggests a provocative question at the core of the official art ideology during Mao’s era: Why would it be essential to transform artists into art workers in order for them to make China’s revolutionary art?
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