A younger, thinner and taller president

hu jt2.jpg

On June 12, the painting Saddened earth. Rebirth (地恸.重生) was exhibited in the Guangdong Gallery. The giant 57.6-meter-long artwork took more than 140 painters 18 days to complete.

The size is by no means the only thing remarkable about it. The painting features two important personalities (the two segments reproduced here are small parts of the whole painting) who are set against a background of earthquake rubble, together with nurses, People's Liberation Army soldiers and quake victims.

The choice of characters has been criticized because that the volunteers who played an important role in the relief work are nowhere to be found in the painting.


The oil painting was based on two news photos, though modifications were made to achieve full artistic effect. If you compare closely you could find that Hu Jintao looks taller, thinner, and younger in the painting than he does in the photo. Behind him, the original concrete building was replaced by chunks of rubble. And Wen Jiabao was surrounded by nurses who do not appear in the original photo.

Links and Sources
There are currently 4 Comments for A younger, thinner and taller president.

Comments on A younger, thinner and taller president

the photo edit were really good, almost perfect. that means....?

Sweet! I was afraid that this very original form of art died with old fashioned propaganda. Good to see it's still there. Hopefully it will end up in a museum of propa-painting-ganda, with paintings of Stalin, father of all people.

One question though, how come Hu is less than 2m tall?

I may be mistaken, but in the photograph there appears to be a foreigner on the left just above the worker wearing a helmet.
In the painting the worker's mask is removed and more of the foreigner's face is somehow revealed.
I wonder if anybody else picked up on that small detail?

It's not editing a photo but it is in-your-face propaganda the way the state wants an event seen, interpreted and remembered, made by 140 painters working 18 days.

China Media Timeline
Major media events over the last three decades
Danwei Model Workers
The latest recommended blogs and new media
From 2008
Front Page of the Day
A different newspaper every weekday
From the Vault
Classic Danwei posts
+ Culture and corporate propaganda in Soho Xiaobao (2007.11): Mid-2007 issues of Soho Xiaobao (SOHO小报), illustrating the complicated identity of in-house magazines run by real estate companies.
+ Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship (2010.03): Internet executives complain about excessive Net censorship at an officially sanctioned meeting in Shenzhen.
+ Crowd-sourced cheating on the 2010 gaokao (2010.06): A student in Sichuan seeks help with the ancient Chinese section of this year's college entrance exam -- while the test is going on!
Danwei Archives