Art’s Precarious Independence in the post-Deng PRC

To conclude: I started this web space in the hope of bringing back into focus the imagery and music of what be called experimental corporatist aesthetics as they swept diachronically across the Asian landmass between 1895 and 1978, achieving maximum cross-influence precisely as military Armageddon descended over the Three between 1937 to 1953. And perhaps still noticeable to the cultural geologist with China in focus, however much the Age of Anarchy seems to drift into the past lose relevance. I now however, with the luxury of first-phase digging into undiscussed (indeed self-censored) materials now behind, find myself more and more concerned with not just the “Mao” or “AFTER” Mao, but with the AFTER AFTER, a mix of nostalgias and contrived repaintings (re-imaginings) with undeniable links to what used be called Cultural Purism or Essentialism 国粹 . And which must be reckoned with if one wants a full(er) report on China’s Janus-faced and tense posture before its critics.

For the moment at least, the age of AFTER AFTER seems to harbinger a world of self-insulating BEFORE BEFORES. A reversal of intuition which seems to be shared even by overseas witnesses of the way the winds seem to have reversed since the initial (abstract) hopes of a turn to modernism/futurism that seemed so irreversible before the 80s and the onslaught of what is now called “regret, self-rebuke” 反省 fanxing. Readhesion seems more and more like reaction, retrophilia.

Jim Polachek
Mar. 2013 (2nd revision)


9 thoughts on “Art’s Precarious Independence in the post-Deng PRC

  1. Throughout this great pattern of things you actually get an A+ with regard to hard work. Exactly where you lost me personally ended up being in your specifics. You know, as the maxim goes, details make or break the argument.. And it couldn’t be much more accurate right here. Having said that, permit me reveal to you what did do the job. The writing is certainly highly powerful and this is probably the reason why I am making an effort in order to comment. I do not really make it a regular habit of doing that. Secondly, whilst I can easily see the leaps in reasoning you come up with, I am not really sure of just how you seem to connect the details that help to make the final result. For the moment I will, no doubt subscribe to your position however wish in the future you link the facts much better. Więcej

    • Dear Więcej =

      I can understand your frustration with an undersupply of pertinent facts. In your environment (what IS centrumeuropy? i’m going to check but don’t read Polish very well…).

      But please understand: I am writing as an independent self-financed (low-or 0$ budget) reporter on fairly difficult cultural subjects, while also trying to make my presentations simple enough for beginners or info-byte collectors. As well, I am a believer in intuition.

      If you want to see my more “hard-core” scholarship, see, which I wrote when still a salaried scholar at Princeton.

      If there is a leaped-over-facts that really confuse, by all means send a comment on the specifics.

      And thanks for your loyalty.

      May I express gratitude too for so many Warsaw readers…. is there a seminar or project behind this?



    • I just discovered your request today, a mere half-year after you sent it – sorry, I’m still learning to navigate in the WordPress system.

      The way to do this is to go to RSS Feed on the home page, that’s exactly what it’s for – auto-updating. I also hear that “Google Plus” does this for you as well, but haven’t trued it. The third possibility is Twitter, join and then add me under “follow” and you will get the updated posts as soon as they are “published”. But I should warn you I have a bad habit of “publishing” way before I have a full essay, and often leave the posts unfinished for months…

      Thanks for your attention.

    • Good to have your feedback.

      Most readers seem to find my posts too long and don’t finish, but I’ll keep you in mind.

      PLEASE DON’T HESITATE TO ASK if there is something you’d like to know more about –

      Jim Polachek, USA

  2. I am only commenting to make you understand of the really good discovery my cousin’s girl developed studying your blog. She came to find plenty of issues, including how it is like to possess an excellent coaching nature to have the others with ease know just exactly various extremely tough issues. You really surpassed our expectations. Thanks for churning out the important, trustworthy, explanatory and in addition unique tips on this topic to Ethel. WWW

    • Dear Warsaw Psychotechnika

      Thanks for your honesty as well as praise. Sometimes negative feedback helps more than positive. You are totally right about “kinda boring”: there have been personal problems that have made it hard to concentrate. Plus, I got stuck with Mo Yan because of his Nobel Prize. I’m not a comp lit person, but a visual one, so it’s been hard and probably a waste of time to pursue his writings other than Red Sorghum.

      My new project is the film Great Road (1934) , which has me much more engaged

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