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Grant number like: FT-57173-09

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Leah Lihua Wong
Columbus College of Art and Design (Columbus, OH 43215-1700)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2009 – 7/31/2009

Picturing Utopia: The Visual Iconography of Chinese Socialist Realism, 1949-1979

I seek support for 2 months of data collection in China during Summer 2009 as part of a collaborative project to document the various meanings of approximately 500 Chinese propaganda images created between 1949 and 1979. Working with Ohio State scholars Julia Andrews, an art historian specializing in PRC art, and Christopher Reed, a historian of Chinese print and visual culture, I will conduct interviews with 45 elderly artists in Shanghai, Hangzhou, and Beijing. We will produce web-based searchable Mao-period propaganda images along with detailed iconographical and historical interpretations. By the end of 2009, initial research results will be disseminated through OSU's Media Manager site. They will later be migrated to a fixed archive in OSU Library's digital Knowledge Bank (free to the public). The recent trend for collecting socialist-realist printed materials and Mao-inspired pop art has brought such objects to the public eye, creating a need for accessible explanations.