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.
Mar. 2013 (2nd revision)