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The Ideological Transformation of the Icon Chairman Mao during the Four Modernisations period: As illustrated by "Melody of Youth, Beautiful Soul"
Dalarna University, School of Humanities and Media Studies, Chinese.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

After Chairman Mao's death, in the late 1980's, Mao was removed from official government communications and his iconography transformed from having a specific meaning generation role linked to Maoist ideology, to becoming available for use as a commodity. In this research I use cultural theorist Jacques Derrida's theory of Hauntology and the deconstruction method to analyse a representative Chinese Propaganda poster, "Melody of Youth, Beautiful Soul", in order to ascertain the effect Mao's death had on the Iconography of Chairman Mao, and how Mao is ideologically transformed during this period.

Analysing the painting I found specific symbols associated with the iconography of Mao that had been adopted and transformed for the purposes of the CCP. These symbols both suggested the presence of Chairman Mao, as well as negated that presence through being co-opted for other purposes.

Using these symbols and writings about the period I deduced that during this period the CCP had to rely on existing symbols of power and authority in order to communicate and legitimise regime change whilst maintaining the semblance of continuity. At the same time they had to decouple these symbols from their original meanings in order to distance themselves from the past and redefine the ideology of China.

In the process, Mao's iconography was decoupled from its Maoist ideological heritage and transformed into abstract symbols of power, doctrine and so on. This means that the transformation had made them available to use as an "open basket" into which new, related meanings could be placed – including serving as a commodity.

Abstract [zh]

中文摘要:毛主席是中国历史上最有名的文化偶像之一。他的思想是中国共产党的根本基础。作为一个偶像,毛泽东在中国现代文化中是一个很重要的象征意义成分,代表着权力、中国共产党、毛泽东思想等等。

在八十年代,当毛主席死后,毛泽东作为偶像在宣传画中逐渐消失,同时也被商品化了。为了解释毛泽东作为文化偶像的影响,以及毛泽东思想在此时期的转变,本文会运用文化理论家雅克·德里达的?幽灵学?(Hauntology)和解构主义学的方法,对一具代表性的宣传画《青春的旋律,优美的心灵》进行分析。

通过分析,我们可以发现一些与毛主席有关的符号,例如:书,原子符号,光等等。这些与毛主席有关的符号,为了满足中国共产党的宣传目的,已经被转变了。而由于这些符号与毛主席有关,它们便意味着毛主席仍存在于文本中,但是因为这些符号被转变了,他们也意味着毛主席在文本中的缺席。

分析这段时间所使用的这些符号,以及阅读关于?四个现代化?的文章, 我发现,在?四化?时期,为了传达政权转换的合法性,以及保持其政权连续性的假象,不得不依靠已经存在的政治符号。同时为了把实用主义放在政治理论的核心中, 他们也要从旧的思想限制中解放出来,所以他们需要把某些与毛泽东有关的符指从符征里分离出来。

在过程中,偶像毛泽东转变成一种开架商品,各种意识形态都可以藉由毛泽东来贩卖。

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016.
Keyword [en]
Chinese, China, Deconstruction, Iconography, Mao Zedong, Iconographic transformation, Ideology, Maoism, Four Modernisations, Hauntology
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URN: urn:nbn:se:du-23243OAI: oai:DiVA.org:du-23243DiVA: diva2:1033325
Available from: 2016-10-06 Created: 2016-10-06

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