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Creativity ClassArt School and Culture Work in Postsocialist China$
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Lily Chumley

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780691164977

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691164977.001.0001

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Thirty Years of Reform

Thirty Years of Reform

(p.21) 2 Thirty Years of Reform
Creativity Class

Lily Chumley

Princeton University Press

This chapter begins with an oral history of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, describing how the school changed over the course of gaigekaifang. Gaigekaifang is often referred to in English as “reform” (gaige), putting the stress on the structural adjustments that fomented change, while kaifang roughly means “opening up.” This institutional history is given a broader social context through interpretations of three art exhibitions commemorating the thirtieth anniversary of reform and opening up in 2008. These exhibitions offer perspectives on the legacies of socialism and the novelties of reform that are variously aligned with or critical of official state narratives, showing how contemporary Chinese dreamworlds contest with one another.

Keywords:   reform, gaigekaifang, Central Academy of Fine Arts, institutional history, art exhibitions, socialism, official state narratives, Chinese dreamworlds

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