The relationship between politics and art in any society should not be seen simply as one of cause and effect. Political and artistic issues are linked to one another through a complex network of interactions and associations. In the People's Republic of China, where all aspects of society are directly related to politics, and where the creation of art is in itself considered a political act, this relationship is more clearly defined than elsewhere, though no less complicated. In China, the government plays a direct and active role in overseeing the nation's artistic production, and in determining the criteria for critical judgment. This study is divided into three sections. Chapter 1 outlines the major statements of artistic policy and the theoretical structure upon which the. policies are based. Chapter 2 deals with the effect of the artistic policies upon artists, and the reactions of painters to the political demands placed upon them. The third chapter will focus on the experiences of three such artists, Kuan Shan-yueh, Li K'o-jan and Ch'ien Sung-yen. All three specialize in landscape, a genre that has been especially problematic, and all three incorporate both Western techniques and traditional Chinese methods of drawing.
Introduction. 1. The Policies. 2. Art and Artists: An Overview • 3. Artists and Art: The Painters Kuan Shan-yUeh, Li K'o-jan, and Ch'ien Sung-yen, Conclusion.