As a photographer of Xinhua News Agency, Zhang Yaxin’s 张雅心 (born in 1933 in Heishan) duty was to document everyday life and political events during a watershed in Chinese history: the Cultural Revolution (launched in 1966). Similarly to The Model Opera, his series Red Times unveils the establishement of the eight officially permitted model operas that became part of Chinese people’s cultural life during more than ten years. In addition to these theatrical visions, Zhang Yaxin depicted the peculiarities of everyday life in 60s-70s China, such as its colourful pro-communism demonstrations, and the strentgh of common endeavour among Chinese workers. While the main aim was to promote the idealistic revolutionary ideology, these photographs triggered codified aesthetic standards that had a profound impact among Chinese people up to nowadays.
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