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Mexico’s Influence on China at USC Pacific Asia Museum

“Emiliano Zapata hecho prisionero por su lucha en favor de Los campesinos” by Ignacio Aguirre | Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Jules and Gloria Heller | Photo courtesy of Museum Associates/LACMA

Hit play below to listen to our Arts Alive feature on USC Pacific Asia Museum’s Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century

Mexico’s Influence on China at USC Pacific Asia Museum
    When the USC Pacific Asia Museum opens its doors on December 8th (after nearly a year and a half of upgrades and renovation), the museum’s contribution to Pacific Standard Time: LA/LA opens as well.

The Pacific Asia Museum’s exhibit is called Winds from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century. “Fusang” is an ancient name referring to the shores of an “Eastern Ocean” that some believe is Mexico, and this is the first major exhibition on the influence of Mexican art and artists on Chinese artists during the twentieth century.

“Fusilamiento” by Leopoldo Mendez | Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Jules and Gloria Heller | Photo courtesy of Museum Associates/LACMA

“Peking Opera Singer” by Miguel Covarrubias | Collection of Zhang Guangyu Art Foundation

Museum Director Dr. Christina Yu-Yu told me that while China was closed off to most of the world during the 1950s and 1960s, two exhibitions from Mexico travelled to the People’s Republic.

“That became the only art outside China, outside the Soviet Union, that Chinese artists were exposed to, so that was a very exciting time. Not only was the art aligned ideologically with the Communist Party, but stylistically, it was something so new that it completely opened a different door to Chinese artists.

The artists saw works by painters like Diego Rivera and his student Ignacio Aguirre, and found the subjects and styles of these Mexican artists fresh and inspiring. Yuan Yunsheng was influenced by what he saw to create a Rivera-like mural at the old Beijing Airport depicting a water ritual of the Dai people in Yunnan. Sketches for that mural will be on view at the USC Pacific Asia Museum.

“The Dream (Suefio)” by Diego Rivera | Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Gift of Jules and Gloria Heller | Photo courtesy of Museum Associates/LACMA

Wings from Fusang: Mexico and China in the Twentieth Century will be on view through June 10th, and the museum will host a series of events conjunction with the exhibit. There will be artmaking activities, film screenings, and a conversation with Chefs Erwin Tjahyadi and Ricardo Zarate about Chinese and Mexican cuisines moderated by LA Times food writer Jonathan Gold in February.

For more details and a complete list of events click here.

Written by:
Kelsey McConnell
Kelsey McConnell
Published on 10.01.2018

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