Fu Baoshi is one of the most famous Chinese artists who contributed greatly into the development of the national art. One of his works reveals aspirations of Chinese people who lived in the middle of the twentieth century. Gottwaldov was created in 1957. The artist used an album leaf, ink and color. The dimensions of the work are 48.7 x 57.1 cm.
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Though the artist uses color, it is necessary to note that grey prevails. Light brown, green and yellow colors can also be seen in the picture. At that, the mentioned colors are of greyish tinge. The work portrays an industrial city in a socialistic republic. The painter reveals high buildings and chimneys producing thick smoke. There is a wide road in the foreground of the work. The painter also depicts trees that are seen as a ground for the buildings and the highest chimney.
Now this picture can serve as a scene of an environmental catastrophe. However, in the middle of the twentieth century this was an image of progress of socialism and communism for Chinese people. Fu Baoshi reveals one of the most important concepts which characterize the epoch he lived in. Chinese people were concerned with building a new socialistic state.
Notably, Fu Baoshi managed to combine traditional art and new trends to portray advances of socialistic countries. The artist revealed one of the cities in Check Republic. He wanted to stress the advances of the socialistic industrial country. The high buildings and the wide road stand for prosperity and progress.
The chimneys stand for technological advances. The thick smoke that covers the entire city can symbolize that the new order penetrates into every part of the city and every part of people’s life. It is also necessary to note that the artist reveals electric power transmission poles. These also create the image of industrial advances.
Admittedly, such work was accepted positively by people who lived in China at that time. Chinese people could see that socialistic countries were prosperous. They could see that the order they had chosen was rightful. The artist revealed the euphoria of those who believed in communism.
As for me, I have quite mixed feelings as for the work. First, I think this is one of the most brilliant works that manages to combine traditions of Chinese art and modernity. The view of an industrial socialistic city revealed in the best traditions of Chinese art is really majestic. I used to think that only pastoral (or futuristic) sceneries could be produced by Chinese artists. However, the industrial dream by Fu Baoshi has broadened my horizons.
Apart from this, I cannot stop thinking about the artist’s vision. He revealed advances of the socialistic countries. He revealed his belief in effectiveness of the approaches chosen by rulers of that time. Seemingly, the picture simply portrays people’s aspiration of that time. However, I can see that Fu Baoshi was a really talented man who created a timeless picture. Looking at the picture now, I can see that people were deluded.
They perceived reality in a specific way. Ideology made people see the distorted world. Thus, when I look at the picture, I do not see advances. I only see that people as well as nature are exploited by leaders who are not people of vision. The picture is a look back at the times when people did not care about possible negative effects (which my generation has to handle). The picture is a kind of reminder: “Look what dreams may come”.