ZHANG YAXIN: Model Opera
Zhang Yaxin is a Chinese photographer, born in 1933. He graduated from the photography department of Changchun Film Academy and joined the Xinhua News Agency as a staff reporter in 1963. This exhibition highlights the still photographs he made of the revolutionary model operas from 1969 to 1976. The plots of these operas are based on stories of labouring people struggling and fighting for happiness. They were made into films for promotion nationwide. Yaxin’s still photographs of the characters and scenes were printed on posters, stamps and craftworks. It was a mass commercial campaign even though people did not understand it in such terms. As the dominant art form in people's lives for approximately ten years, the revolutionary model operas and their impact on society are now the subject of much analysis from a pop culture perspective.