Chinese artists cross the red line – Jonathan Watts

From Guardian Unlimited (link):

China’s censors may not fully understand contemporary , but they know what they don’t like. Since the start of this month, police and propaganda officials have launched their biggest crackdown on Beijing’s counterculture hothouse – Dashanzi art district – where at least three galleries have been ordered to remove politically sensitive works.

On their orders, down has come an oil painting by Gao Qiang depicting a sickly yellow Mao Zedong bathing in a Yangtze river the colour of blood. Out has gone a child-like depiction of the 1989 Beijing massacre by Wu Wenjian, who uses stick figures to illustrate tanks and soldiers shooting at people. And back to storage has gone the centrepiece of the celebrated artist Huang Rui‘s first solo exhibition on the Chinese mainland: a cultural revolution slogan made up of of banknotes bearing Mao’s portrait.

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