Jiang Qing (1914-1991)

The Cultural Revolution in Images -- Caricature-Posters from Guangzhou 1966-1977

During the Cultural Revolution, Jiang Qing hold key-positions which allowed her to influence political and cultural works nationwide. In 1966 she was appointed deputy director of the Central Cultural Revolution Group, and in 1969 she became member of the Politburo (MacFarquhar and Schoenhals, 2006: 468-469). After the Mao’s death in 1976, she was arrested together with the other members of the Gang of Four. While Jiang Qing did not appear frequently in propaganda posters produced during the Cultural Revolution (Evans, 1999: 72) she became one of the favourite targets of critics and cartoonists after the fall of the Gang of Four. Jiang Qing’s gender made her an easy pray for cartoonists, who flaunt a rich repertoire of gender stereotypes which could resonate among public of different cultural backgrounds. For instance, in the political caricatures of this collection, Jiang Qing often appears as a new Wu Zetian or a new Empress Lü, historical women ready to scarify their reign to satisfy their thirst for power. Moreover, Jiang Qing is associated with the White-Boned Demon, another popular character from the popular Journey to the West. Innuendos to her alleged obsessions with her beauty, personal comfort, and her passion wasteful pastimes such as photography and poker are also recurring themes among Jiang Qing’s caricatures. Her behaviours and obsessions are described in the memoir of Mao Zedong’ doctor Li Zhisui (Li, 1994) and in her biography by Ross Terrill (Terrill, 1999 )

Reference:

Evans, Harriet and Stephanie Donald ed. Picturing Power in the People’s Republic of China: Posters of the Cultural Revolution. Lanham, Md.: Rowman & Littlefield, 1999.
Li, Zhisui. The Private Life of Chairman Mao: The Memoirs of Mao’s Personal Physician. Translated by Prof. Tai Hung-chao. New York: Random House, 1994.
MacFarquhar Roderik and Michael Schoenhals. Mao’s Last Revolution. Cambridge, Mass.: Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2006.
Terrill, Ross. Madame Mao: The White-boned Demon. Stanford, Calif.: Stanford University Press: 1999.