Polished Memories: Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodline: Big Family No. 3 and the Ideal Family of the Cultural Revolution
Zhang Xiaogang’s series of paintings, Bloodline, is a strange, surreal, and haunting collection of family portraits. As a Chinese artist who was young during the Cultural Revolution of the 60s and 70s, Zhang has a complicated relationship with his own national history. The paintings of Bloodline are not photorealistic portraits; rather, they are constructions coming from within his mind, returning to these memories and feelings decades later. This essay examines Big Family No. 3, a painting for this series done in 1995, exploring the influences and processes that contributed to its creation. It argues that this work in particular reflects on the Cultural Revolution, the artist relying on his own memories and retrospection to create a picture of an idealized family.
Wiggins, Abby. "Polished Memories: Zhang Xiaogang’s Bloodline: Big Family No. 3 and the Ideal Family of the Cultural Revolution." James Madison Undergraduate Research Journal 10, no. 1 (2023): 6-17. https://commons.lib.jmu.edu/jmurj/vol10/iss1/1/.
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