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 Jiang Qing: Reforming the Fine Arts, 19 May 1968

Reforming the Fine Arts

Jiang Qing
 
 
   Source: This transcript ("Tan meishu gaige") of a tape-recorded meeting of Jiang Qing, Yao Wenyuan, and Chen Boda with members of the Zhejiang Provincial Revolutionary Committee on 19 May 1968 is included in Jiang Qing tongzhi lun wenhua yishu (Comrade Jiang Qing on Culture and the Fine Arts), published by students in the Chinese Language Department of Hangzhou University in July 1968 (pp. 69-73). The translation is slightly abridged. China's Cultural Revolution, 1966-1969: Not a Dinner Party, P.197-201, Michael Schoenhals ED., M.E. Sharpe, 1996.


     I don't like Pan Tianshou's paintings. They are so gloomy. Those bald eagles he paints are really ugly. Gloomy and hideous. (Wenyuan: The fact that they are so gloomy has to do with him being a special agent. Those bald eagles Pan Tianshou likes to paint are embodiments of special agents.)

    A few years ago, how come there were so many paintings by Pan Tianshou around? Why did you here in Hangzhou praise him so much? I remember there was even an exhibit of his in Beijing, and the prices were really high. There was Fu Baoshi as well. Xu Beihong should be affirmed, artistically he should be affirmed. He made foreign things serve China and the old serve the new, and he was quite sophisticated. Xu Beihong's gallery should not be closed down. Qi Baishi is an old miser, a real scoundrel! Tan Zhenlin's wife is also an old miser. (Wenyuan: Huang Zhou is a very nasty person.)...
 Now as for paintings, they must serve the workers, peasants, and soldiers. The workers, peasants, and soldiers should occupy that battle front. The central ideological theme of what is painted must be quite clear, the composition must be quite simple, and the central theme must be pronounced. At present, the general appearance of your paintings is far too scattered, too messy. (Refers to the paintings shown on this occasion.)
 We must popularize; popularization is our basis. But we must also, on the basis of popularization, raise our level. We must have works of art on a higher level. The fine arts must produce a few model works. If there are no works on a higher level, people will curse us and say what we do is all as plain as boiled water, in which case we shall not be able to stand our ground. We will be chased off the stage....
 Just painting portraits is not enough. There must be greater variety. But in the past, all those bright and colorful paintings just did not take as their subject the workers, peasants, and soldiers, nor did they serve the workers, peasants, and soldiers. You must train talented artists from among the workers, peasants, and soldiers, as well as serve the workers, peasants, and soldiers. The Academy of Fine Arts need not necessarily produce specialists. It is very good of you to organize amateur training classes for talented workers, peasants, and soldiers. There are many talented workers, peasants, and soldiers. Initially, we had planned to experiment in the same way in all of the arts schools, not just in fine arts, but in music, opera, and ballet as well, but it just did not work. Right now we still don't have the capacity. Right now we're concentrating our energies on grasping politics, and there is no time for us to carry out experiments in the arts schools. At lower levels, they cannot figure things out. The forces in your schools seem to be quite concentrated, so you could be quite bold! Merge some departments, and send them down to the countryside and down to the factories. Turn them into comprehensive arts schools, or at least conduct some trials! Move out into the world of practice! We have not set any restrictions. You can report your achievements to us. We'll allow you to keep a few extra backbone elements and a few extra graduates for the sake of educational reform.
 (While being briefed about the deep roots that Zhou Yang, Cai Ruohong, Hua Junwu, Jiang Feng, Mo Pu, and other black-line representatives of the 1930s bourgeoisie had in the Academy of Fine Arts:) And there's the 1920s, the 1940s, the 1950s, all the way up to the 1960s as well. Centuries of the bourgeoisie, and millennia of feudalism, have made an impact. But it's nothing to be afraid of. Take opera reform: Didn't the eight model operas, as soon as they were out, just overwhelm and devastate them?
 (While being briefed about the fact that large numbers of provinces and municipalities all have their own fine arts institutes, arts and crafts schools, opera and music academies:) What's the point of having that many in every province? It's a big mess and they're just turning out little "lords." There is a teacher in the Central Academy of Fine Arts who uses oil to paint traditional New Year's paintings in the Dunhuang style. Totally divorced from reality! New Year's paintings, picture-story books, and wood-block prints all have a future, and their role might even be bigger. Painting for the stage is very important. Now they move huge trees onto the stage in some places! They're not utilizing stage lighting properly. Oil paintings, as an art form, need to be reformed. Models still need to be painted. But to rely solely on models won't do. You also have to learn how to draw from memory. Some people don't know how to paint without a model.
 (While speaking of arts and crafts:) The students in the Central Academy of Arts and Crafts are complaining and want to go down to the countryside. Why not select a few factories and mines for them to go to? I once talked with Comrade Ke Qingshi about how to arrange for arts and crafts to enter the factories. We have a fine tradition of artistic design in our country, a national tradition of printing on cotton and satin and silk. As long as you don't draw dragons and phoenixes and that kind of stuff, all you have to do is adjust the design a little and you shall have something very pretty, very elegant, and tasteful. Nowadays the designers keep printing puppies and kittens on our cotton in imitation of Western designs; as a result, nobody likes to wear it, and it cannot compete on the international market either. We even lose money on some of the pottery made for export at Jingdezhen.
 You have to be particularly cautious when painting the leadership, or you shall suffer defeat. Paintings of the Chairman must not be produced in a rough and slipshod way. (Criticism voiced by Comrade Jiang Qing while looking at, and basically approving of, the painting Our Seas Turn Into Mulberry Fields produced at the Central Academy of Fine Arts:) Still, too much detail creates problems too. The background is too complex. [In this painting] the Chairman's lower cheek-' bones look uncomfortable, and his right hand is not very well painted either. The person should stand out, and the background must not be too complex. (Comrade Jiang Qing went on to look at an oil painting of Chairman Mao shaking hands with Comrade Hoxha.) There is an unfortunate trend in what you do, which is not to give prominence to the person and to clutter up the background. You don't appear serious. There are problems with everything from the ideological theme to the actual composition. Recently, I saw an excellent oil painting of Chairman Mao going to Anyuan that really succeeded in depicting the Chairman's air.
 Once the issue of the political stand has been resolved, you still have to resolve the issue of craftsmanship. Essential techniques still have to be taught.
 What about the future of sculpture? The Center has issued repeated; injunctions against the production of giant sculptures of the Chairman, because when they're that big, it is difficult to achieve a good semblance. Just to make a mess of it won't do. If things go wrong, there may even be international repercussions.
The Zhejiang Bureau of Culture has been spreading an awful lot of rumors about me, claiming it was I who asked for Fourth Son Calls on-His Mother to be performed. The old Central Propaganda Department and the old Ministry of Culture, as well as the old East-China Bureau, Peng Zhen, and Wang Fang, all spread rumors about me. Fourth Son Calls on His Mother was already being performed prior to my arrival. When I criticized it, they stopped, but once I had left, they began performing it again. I read reports in the paper, and in fact in 19611 did not even visit Hangzhou. It's all calumny and slander. Women impersonating men is a strange sixties phenomenon. I'm thoroughly disgusted with it! The Yue Opera Militant Youth is one big poisonous weed. The novel itself is already bad. Once the Youth & Vigor Yue Opera Troupe came to Huairentang to perform, and I thought this time for sure the performers would be men! But no, it was once more women impersonating men, and they were really ugly! The more I saw, the angrier I got, and I considered walking out. There was another play too that really upset me when I saw it, about a drunkard and a madwoman, implying that our new society is one of drunkards and madwomen. The story was set in Zhejiang, and therefore Zhejiang had produced this new historical play. Its name was Drunken Verdict. It is truly extraordinary that you here in Zhejiang should be performing old plays and ghost plays to such an extent. You even have ossified corpses turning into ghosts and emerging from coffins. I certainly do not watch performances like that. I read about them in the paper. And then there is The Mother in the Nunnery, which was performed everywhere in different opera forms. (Wenyuan: At the time it was euphemistically renamed Lineage Property Salvaged.)
    (While being briefed on Hu Qiaomu's activities in Hangzhou:) Hu Qiaomu together with Chen Bing had them perform Xin Wenbing. (Wenyuan: Hu Qiaomu has visited Hangzhou a number of times.) Every time I criticized him, he just would not listen. ... All of that was done by Zhou Yang and those people in order to prepare public opinion for a restoration of capitalism. (Chen Boda: Right! Right! It's all in reparation for a restoration.) (While speaking of reforming opera forms:) There is a problem with Zhejiang in that all of its old opera forms are problematic. The Shao-ing full ensemble has a solid martial arts foundation. Can the model operas be transplanted? Are there any old opera forms that can be utilized? First, one must determine what's right and what's wrong, and then act differently depending on the circumstances. (Wenyuan: A little while ago Comrade Jiang Qing said that the eight model operas an be transplanted, [but] that transplanting is a very arduous task involving many changes.)
    The Yue Opera has to be reformed. The Yue Opera is bourgeois. In the past, people with money in Shanghai would have girls come to perform a selection of favorites for money. The music of the Yue opera is very low spirited. The opera form has to be reformed, and the plays have to be written. There should be men and women performing together, and the music has to be reformed. Right now, the octave range of the performers is too narrow.
     Zhejiang is where Chiang Kai-shek used to have his old lair. (When briefed about the crimes of the number one capitalist roader in Zhejiang, Jiang Hua, and how he had said, "I prefer capitalism that lets me eat my fill over socialism that leaves me starving," Jiang Qing marked angrily: )Before Liberation, did your families have enough to eat? There is no such thing as socialism that lets you starve; only capitalism lets you starve!
 One is allowed to make mistakes when making revolution. You must not be afraid of making mistakes and should engage in reform while engaged in practical work. (Wenyuan: The Revolutionary Committee should talk about drawing up a concrete plan.) There will be a disaster unless the schools are reformed. This applies to universities, middle schools, elementary schools, and arts schools, as well as all artistic and cultural institutions.
  
  
  

 
 
顶端 Posted: 2009-03-13 02:24 | [楼 主]
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谈美术改革(1968.05.19)

江青

  潘天寿的画很阴暗,我是不欣赏的,画的秃鹰真难看,又阴暗,又丑。(文元:画很阴暗,与他搞特务有关,潘天寿喜欢画的秃鹰,是特务的化身。)
  前几年,潘天寿的画怎么那样多?你们杭州捧得那么高?记得在北京还开了展览会,卖价很贵,还有付抱石。徐悲鸿应该肯定,从艺术上看,应该是肯定的,洋为中用,古为今用,而且比较有思想,徐悲鸿的展览馆不应该搞掉。齐白石是老财迷,可坏啦!谭震林老婆也是个老财迷。(文元:黄胄这个人很坏。)
  (当汇报了浙江美院革委会领导清理阶级队伍的情况后。)
  清理阶级队伍是主要的,是原则问题。我们第一要坚决对敌,第二要掌握政策,区别对待。其它你们去作,你们是革命委员会嘛!(文元:革命委员会就是要搞革命嘛!你们去干嘛!)
  至于画,要为工农兵服务,要工农兵去占领阵地。画的主题思想要非常明确,构图要非常简单,要突出主题。现在:你们的画面太杂了,杂七杂八的。(指汇报时带去的几幅画)
  我们要普及,普及是基础,但我们还要在普及的基础上提高,要提高的作品,美术要搞出样板来。没有提高的东西,人家就会骂我们喝白开水,我们就站不住脚,被人家赶下台。
  首先要树队伍。同意你们留下一些骨干,不要都毕业,都毕业走了就糟了。你们造反早,革委会成立早,可以去实践,总结经验。总结可以写全面的,也可以写个别的,好的经验我们可以批转,但文字不要太长。
  要坚决对敌,搞好对敌斗争。要发动群众,清理阶级队伍,要掌握好政策。政策不稳要搞乱。不能专信口供,要有物证、旁证,没有口供也能定案。总之,要动员起群众,领导要掌握政策。(文元:用办毛泽东思想学习班的形式清理阶级队伍。)
  (当汇报了浙江美院的教改情况后)
  任何事情都要按毛主席指示办事,发动群众进行实践,总结经验,加以推广,这就是试点。你们创造出无产阶级新事物,我们加以支持推广。
  你们光画肖像还不够,品种多样一些。但过去画花花绿绿,根本不以工农兵为主体,不为工农兵服务.你们要训练工农兵的美术人材,为工农兵服务。美术学院不一定出专家。你们办工农兵训练班业余培养工农兵人材很好,工农兵中是有人材的。原来想整个艺术院校,不但美术,还有音乐、戏剧、舞蹈,都想试点一下,但不行。现在还没有精力。现在集中力量抓政治,顾不上艺术院校搞试点,下面的人搞不清。你们学校力量较集中,可以大胆搞嘛!并系下乡下厂,搞成综合的艺术院校,都可以试验嘛!到实践中去搞嘛,我们没有框框,有成绩可以向我们报告。为了教改,我同意你们多留一些骨干,多留一些毕业生。
  (当汇报说周扬、蔡若虹、华君武、江丰、莫朴等资产阶级三十年代的黑线人物在美院有很深的根子时)
  还有二十年代、四十年代、五十年代一直到六十年代。资产阶级几百年,封建主义几千年,是有影响的。但没有什么可怕,戏剧改革,八个样板戏一出来,不是把他们压垮了吗!?
  (当汇报到很多省市都有美术学院、工艺美术学校,戏剧,音乐学院时)
  每个省搞那么多干什么呢?这是胡搞,都变成小老爷了!中央美术学院有个教师用油画画年画,用敦煌的那一套,完全脱离实际。年画、连环画、木刻是有前途的,作用还大一些。舞台美术很重要。现在有的把很大的树也搬到舞台上去了,没有发挥舞台灯光的作用。油画这个品种要改造。模特儿还要画,画半身的,但光靠模特儿不行,还要学会默记,有些人离开了模特儿不会画画。
  (当谈到工艺美术问题时)
  工艺美术学院的同学吵着要下乡,找一些工矿让他们去吧!怎样把工艺美术弄到工厂去,我曾与柯庆施同志研究过。我国美术图案是有很好传统的,比如花布、缎绸,都有我们的民族传统。只要不画龙凤之类东西,稍微把图案簇新一下就很美,很典雅,大方啦。现在的设计人员把小狗小猫都搬上花布,而且模仿西方的东西,没有人爱穿,国际市场上也无法竞争。景德镇有些出口产品,我们还要赔本啦!
  画领袖像要特别慎重。不然要打败仗。画主席的像不能粗制滥造。(江青同志看了美院创作的《人间正道是沧桑》这幅画,基本上是肯定的同时批评说)可是细细琢磨起来有问题,背景太复杂,主席的下颊不舒服,右手画得不够好。要突出人物,背景不要太杂。(江青同志接着又看了毛主席与霍查同志握手的一幅油画)你们的创作倾向不好,不突出人物,后面搞得那么多,乱的,也不严肃,从主题思想到构图都有问题。最近有一幅画毛主席到安源去的油画,非常好,把主席的神气刻画出来了!
  解决了立场问题,还要解决技巧问题。基本功还是要的。
  今后雕塑怎么搞?大型的主席塑像中央三令五申下命令不准搞,因为搞那么大,主席形象刻画不好,随便乱搞不行,搞不好有国际影响。
  浙江的文化局造我的谣造的一塌糊涂,我点了《四朗探母》。旧中宣部、旧文化部,还有旧华东局,彭真、王芳都造我的谣。《四朗探母》我去之前上演了,我批评了就没有上演,但我走后又上演了,是在报上看到报导的,而六一年我根本没有去杭州,他们全是造谣诬蔑。女人演男人,是六十年代的怪现象,讨厌透了!越剧《战斗的青春》是大毒草,小说本身就是坏的,有次在怀仁堂有个少壮越剧团来演,我想这下演有男演员了吧,一看还是女人演男人,真难看!越看越生气,就想走。还有一个戏,我看了可生气了,写了一个醉鬼,一个疯女人,影射我们的新社会是醉鬼疯女人。故事发生在浙江,所以浙江编了这出新编的古戏。戏名叫做《醉断》。你们浙江演古戏、鬼戏演到了这样的程度真是出奇,甚至棺材上出僵死鬼,我才不看这些戏,我是在报纸上看到的。还有《庵堂认母》到处都演,每个戏种都演。(文元:那时美其名曰“抢救堂产”)
  (当汇报到胡乔木到杭州活动时)
  胡乔木还与陈冰搞了一个《辛文兵》。(文元:胡乔木到杭州好几次)我每次批评,他都不听。……这些都是周扬他们为了复辟资本主义制造舆论而搞起来的。(伯达:对!对!是为复辟制造舆论)
  (当谈到改造剧种时)
  浙江有个问题,旧的剧种都有问题。绍兴大班武功基础好。样板戏是否可以移植?有些老的剧种是否可以利用?首先要分清是非,然后区别对待。(文元:刚才江青同志讲,八个样板戏可以移植,移植是很艰苦的改造工作。)
  越剧要改造。越剧是资产阶级的,过去上海有钱人搞几个小姑娘唱堂会.越剧音乐很消沉,越剧得重新改造,重新创作。越剧要男女合演,音乐要改造,高八度、低八度唱不上去。
  浙江是蒋介石的老窠。(当我们汇报到揭露浙江头号走资派江华的罪行:江华说:“我宁愿要吃饱肚子的资本主义,不要饿着肚子的社会主义时。)(江青听了后气愤地)你们两家在解放前能吃饱肚子吗?只有饿着肚皮的资本主义,没有饿着肚皮的社会主义。
  革命允许犯错误,你们不要怕犯错误,要在实践中进行改革。(文元:革委会讨论一下具体方案。)这些学校不改造不得了。大、中、小学、艺术院校、艺术文化事业单位都有这个问题。

  注:一、本文是伯达、江青、文元等中央首长接见浙江省革委会副主任张永生等同志时江青同志的讲话,题目是编者加的。
  二、本文是根据记录整理出来的,在编印中有删节。
  
  
  

 
 
顶端 Posted: 2009-03-13 02:25 | 1 楼
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