Visions of Utopia

Scharoun, Lisa and Tatarovic, Frances 2008, Visions of Utopia, Shanghai, China, 14- 17 Nov. 2008, Shanghai, China, Shang Gallery.

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Title Visions of Utopia
Creator(s) Scharoun, Lisa
Tatarovic, Frances
Conference, exhibition or event location Shanghai, China
Conference, exhibition or event dates 14- 17 Nov. 2008
Partner(s) Deakin University
Publication date 2008
Description of resource 1 exhibition: 4 days
Publisher Shang Gallery
Place of publication Shanghai, China
Keyword(s) Utopias in art
Arts, Modern -- 20th century -- Exhibitions
Summary Since 1949, propaganda posters have been produced in China as a visual language to unite the masses. Posters and billboards portraying images of youth in minority costumes, traditional paper cuts and China’s abundant workforce engaged in modernisation were meant to unite the masses through ‘revolutionary realism with revolutionary romanticism’. These images offer interesting insight into Mao’s version ‘socialist utopia’. With the opening of China to foreign investment and trade in 1979, the vision of a ‘socialist utopia’ has changed once again. Propaganda posters are replaced with large-scale billboards featuring luxury cars, clothing and products from the West. In order to illustrate this change, artists from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, Lisa Scharoun (Lecturer of Graphic Design) and Frances Tatarovic (Lecturer of Photography), have created a series of ‘advertisements’ that utilize similar themes of Maoist era propaganda posters with the infusion of the glossy characteristics of luxury fashion advertising. The images reference techniques and the visual language of contemporary western commercial fashion photography. Within the artworks, the past and present visual culture of China is juxtaposed to create a dialogue between the icons of the Maoist vision of a socialist utopia and the contemporary visual icons of fashion and luxury advertising.
Notes ‘Visions of Utopia’ had its first showing at the Shang Gallery, Shanghai, China in November 2008 where the Consul General of Australia, Mr. Tom Connor, officially opened it. The exhibition was also shown at the Dennys Lascelles Exhibition Gallery on Deakin's Geelong waterfront campus 12 June - 29 July 2009. Visions of Utopia won first prize in an international photographic competition for their series of artworks. The exhibition also won first prize in the Fine Art-Collage category of the 2009 Prix de la Photographie Paris (PX3).
The exhibition included the following artworks:
The burden of plenty,
Catching lotus flowers,
Fruits of the harvest,
Selecting good seeds,
Promise of plenty,
The dreams of women, Fatherland, Eden.
ISBN 9780646504797
Language eng
Field of Research 190599 Visual Arts and Crafts not elsewhere classified
HERDC Research category J2 Minor original creative works
ERA Research output type JO1 Original creative work - Visual art work
Copyright notice ©2008, Lisa Scharoun, Frances Tatarovic
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Document type: Conference, Exhibition or Event
Collections: Faculty of Arts and Education
School of Communication and Creative Arts
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