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View of “Salon, Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile—A Beijing Perspective,” 2017. Photo: Fang Yongfa.

“Salon, Salon”

Inside-Out Art Museum 中间美术馆

View of “Salon, Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile—A Beijing Perspective,” 2017. Photo: Fang Yongfa.

Political terms such as two-line struggles or revisionism—terms the Communist Party had long communicated to the public in a top-down fashion—are now seldom publicly articulated by Chinese officials. As social stability has fallen prey to the ultimate principle of economic development, the state has largely eliminated the space for political debate. This fracture was deliberately highlighted in “Salon, Salon: Fine Art Practices from 1972 to 1982 in Profile—A Beijing Perspective,” the third exhibition of “From the Issue of Art to the Issue of Position: The Legacy of Socialist Realism in Chinese Contemporary Art,” a research project initiated by artist Liu Ding and art critic Carol Yinghua Lu, via artworks displayed side by side with the historical objects and archives associated with them. 

In “Melancholy,” one of the essays in the exhibition guide, Liu—borrowing

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