Arts and Culture
Political cartoons in China have been thought as both a form of entertainment and education for the masses, and due do this manhua (comics, and often political cartoons) has been labelled a “vulgar” art form in China. Manhua has customarily not been considered to contain any aspects of high art. In this project I examine calligraphy in conjunction with the graphics of Chinese political cartoons, focusing on the works of the cartoonist Liao Bingxiong (1915-2006). I am further connecting the calligraphy in modern political cartoons to the traditional art form of tihuashi (inscription on painting), a genre reserved for the literati. By seeing calligraphy on manhua in the light of the traditional tihuashi, I aim to make the history of Chinese political cartoons a more central part of Chinese art history. The sociology of culture will serve as a secondary perspective, and the project is consequently a transdisciplinary case for the integration of the fields of art history and social history.