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Philosophy and Culture
Reference:

Soviet Unofficial Art and the Chinese Juelan Art Society in the twentieth Century: Compositional and genre searches and creative parallels

Fan Jinxu

Graduate Student, Department of Art History and Pedagogy of Art, Herzen State Pedagogical University

191186, Russia, Saint Petersburg, nab. Sinks, 48, room 6, room 51

fang_jinxu@rambler.ru

DOI:

10.7256/2454-0757.2023.6.40883

EDN:

BRHRSO

Received:

31-05-2023


Published:

11-06-2023


Abstract: The article is devoted to the exhibition and creative activities of representatives of the Juelan Society and figures of Soviet unofficial art a comparative analysis allows us to see common points regarding the choice of artistic means and techniques, themes and motives, the fate of creative associations. The purpose of the article is to determine the similarities and differences of the process of the origin of unofficial art in China and Soviet Russia. The author's field of attention includes identifying similarities in the choice of genre, composition, artistic means, as well as the semantic content of the images revealed in the works of artists. It is important for the disclosure of the topic to determine the features and common features in the organization of creative activity and communication between members of artistic associations. The study concluded that Chinese and Soviet figures of unofficial art rallied around small associations, "circles", clubs, societies, offering an alternative to the official and, from their point of view, regressive art view of independent creativity. The artists of the Juelan Society sought to instill a modernist vision in Chinese culture, and Soviet conformists decades later developed their own understanding of contemporary art. Their attempts had a strong influence on the work of Chinese painters of subsequent generations and became a phenomenon in the art of their countries, still have an impact on its development. Their ideas and creative findings are the sources of the processes that take place in the artistic worlds that cooperate in the field of culture of Russia and China.


Keywords:

chinese art, soviet art, nonconformism, unofficial art, underground, Juelan Society, vanguard, modernism, artistic life, liberalization

This article is automatically translated. You can find original text of the article here.

At the beginning of the XX century, the artistic life of China was saturated and tense. Old traditions and the new that was introduced by Western culture collided in it. Young Chinese artists were fond of oil painting, graphic techniques unusual for traditional art, and with them the ideas of innovative and experimental trends of modernism, in particular Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, expressionism, etc. penetrated into their circles. This was especially evident in the works of authors who returned from Japan or European countries. The masters nurtured the idea of the need to conduct educational and even propaganda work in order to update the artistic world of their native country, which was dominated by Western academism and the traditions of writers. The alternative was not welcomed and even punished, which was aggravated by extreme political and social instability.

What happened in China in the 1930s can be correlated with the processes that took place among Russian-Soviet artists - representatives of the avantgarde direction of Soviet art of the 1920s and 1930s. Moreover, in the postwar period, the creativity of masters who created works of art in opposition to what their state welcomed and promoted developed in both countries. In Soviet Russia, nonconformism developed in the conditions of socialist realism, and in China, representatives of the "New Wave" and other trends of the late 1970s and 1980s opposed revolutionary realism and romanticism. Both there and there, the authors interpreted Western forms of painting and art, looked for an individual manner, built relationships with each other, society and the authorities. At the same time, they somehow kept in touch with the avant-garde experiments of the second quarter of the XX century, emphasizing, and sometimes defiantly denying it.

Within the framework of this publication, it is proposed through a comparison of two seemingly completely different, socially and historically non-overlapping phenomena of the artistic life of Russia and China in the 1930s and the unofficial art of both countries in the second half of the XX century to identify the artistic and historical prerequisites and features of rethinking the ideas of the avant-garde in the work of subsequent generations of artists, to characterize its influence on the formation of unofficial art and its corresponding artistic and stylistic features. The research methodology is based on a comparative approach, that is, a comparison and search for common properties and differences between two phenomena of artistic life, as well as an imaginative and stylistic analysis of works of fine art. The novelty of the research lies in the presentation of material designed to complement the historical process of the evolution of the fine arts of the USSR and China and to determine the logical cause-and-effect relationships of a number of similar phenomena, revealing their relationship with avant-garde art.

In Russian science, the creativity of representatives of unofficial art is a topical and debatable issue. B. Groys, K. A. Svetlyakov, E. Yu. were engaged in it at different times.Andreeva, A.D. Sarabyanov, V. Agamov-Tupitsyn and M. Masterkova-Tupitsyn, I. M. Bakstein, A. Y. Chudetskaya, M. J. Jackson, A. A. Karplyuk, etc. These scientists focused on studying the work of an individual author or a group (circle) of artists of a certain time period, as well as analyzing the specifics of unofficial art, for example, in the prism of geographical factors (Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa schools). Russian Russian studies are also available on Chinese art and its connection with the Russian-Soviet art school, but mainly in relation to the continuity of the traditions of realism and academism. Such researchers as M. Wang, V.B. Timofeeva, E.V. Provorova, E.A. Kartseva, E.G. Kalkaev, S.A. Gorbacheva and some others dealt with issues related to unofficial art in China. Their works are either of an overview nature, or are dedicated to individual authors or events in the artistic life of the country. Meanwhile, there are no attempts in science to compare the phenomena in the unofficial art of Soviet Russia and China in the 1930s-1980s and their connection with the avant-garde searches of the beginning of the century, which, like the "second avant-garde", are controversial for the science of both states.

In Russia and China, during the development of the phenomena under consideration, both in the first and in the second half of the XX century. there was a liberalization of society. The artists had the opportunity to get acquainted with Western art to one degree or another and work relatively freely. For example, exhibitions were held in Moscow during the "thaw" period, magazines were brought that introduced some aspects of foreign culture. In China, after the end of the "Cultural Revolution" in 1976, masters had the opportunity to get acquainted with the work of Western colleagues, to demonstrate their own achievements. At the same time, representatives of unofficial art both there and there sought to work away from the authorities. The authors united in small "circles", clubs, societies, communicating with each other in order to develop.

Since the late 1950s, a new phenomenon, often referred to as underground or non-conformism, began to manifest itself in Soviet culture, which had previously been dominated exclusively by socialist realism. Soviet authors created informal associations that were rejected by the authorities, although they were often simply ignored by them up to a certain point. Thus, one of the largest exhibitions of unofficial art took place in 1974 at the Druzhba Club in Moscow. At the same time, the famous "Bulldozer Exhibition" and "Four Hours of Freedom" took place in the Izmailovsky Forest Park. These exhibitions were closed almost immediately. However, gradually exhibitions were allowed in Leningrad, and then in the capital and other cities, which made the work of nonconformists more famous. In the 1980s, it turned into a universally recognized phenomenon and took its place in the artistic life of a country on the verge of change.

Nonconformism is thought by researchers as a continuation of the search for the avant-garde of the early XX century, a return to experiments with the art form [1]. The artists of the Soviet underground belonged to various trends and styles, but they were equally looking for innovative solutions in a situation of isolation from the world artistic process and the dominance of figurative art soaked in propaganda. Many of them were students and (or) followers of the Russian-Soviet avant-gardists and to a certain extent continued their creative search. As A.D. Arefyev said, "there were no formalists among our guys this means: we did not go from within ourselves with a pictorial skill, creating our own world with this. It's never been like this. Always in the first place was the observed, and then the equivalent of it was made with paints We have always tried to choose such an object of observation for this, which in itself leads to a certain tone by the strangeness of seeing an elusive object: through a window, through a keyhole, into a public toilet, into a morgue ..." [2].

Leningrad A.D. Arefyev, who gathered a circle of fine painters around him, strove for maximum expressiveness of form, accuracy of silhouette. He generalized the forms, emphasized the linear principle and gravitated towards a color scheme based on a harmonious combination of several colors, mainly blue and ochre. The artist sought to enclose and express complex content in one image as in a matrix. In fact, he depicted the very "stunning object of vision", "the rarest fact", about which Ye. Yu. wrote.Andreeva, however, addressed to A.D. Arefyev [3, p. 15]. The Soviet artist was interested in the mundane and sometimes unsightly aspects of the life of his contemporaries.

In the spirit of abstractionism worked M. A. Kulakov, V. L. Slepyan, Y. S. Zlotnikov, "Lianozovsky circle". The members of the "Surrealist Club" were fond of conceptualism. Minimalism was also widespread. On the basis of pop art and social realism, social art was born. Perhaps, according to ideological positions, but not stylistic and genre searches, the Moscow group "Movement" by L. Nusberg was closer to the creativity of the representatives of the Juelan society. In its depths, such avant-garde trends as constructivism, suprematism, kinetic art were developing. The masters conducted active exhibition activities, including quite legally exhibiting works. In Leningrad, similar creative searches were carried out by the participants of the "Arefiev Circle", passionate about Fauvism and expressionism, the "Pictorial Renaissance", headed by M. M. Shemyakin and developing metaphorical synthetism. Experiments in the field of suprematism continued around V. V. Sterligov.

Chinese artists, as well as representatives of the Russian-Soviet avant-garde, in the 1930s discovered for themselves and their people the possibilities of a creative vision, an alternative to realism, and at the same time oil painting in general. One of the key representatives of the art world of China in the second third of the XX century was the Shanghai artist Pan Xunqin. He advocated the renewal of Chinese art with the "spirit of a new era" [4, p. 4]. The Chinese government opposed the activities of young artists like him, since in addition to an active and focused on updating the artistic language of the position in art, they often demonstrated very freedom-loving political views. The association of such artists and other cultural figures posed a certain risk to the existing system. In view of this, many associations were closed without explanation, their activities were banned, and representatives were persecuted.

In such difficult conditions, in the autumn of 1931, Pan Xunqin, together with his associates Ni Ide, Chen Chengbo, Zhou Do, Zeng Zhiliang, created a new society in order to fight the "decadent and sick" world of Chinese art, "silent and vulgar", "compromised by the environment". The slogan of their association was as follows: "Let's rise! Let's create our own world of colors, lines and shapes with a hurricane of passion and an iron mind!" [5, p. 19]. Later, this call was heard by other masters and joined the society. It was Yang Qiuzheng, Yang Taiyang, Li Zhongsheng, LiangSihong, ZhangXian, DuanPin, etc.

The "Manifesto of the Juelan Society" was written by Ni Ide during the first exhibition of the association in October 1932. According to this text, painting should no longer imitate nature, it should express exclusively the spirit of the authors and their generation. Moreover, young artists did not want their works to resemble the paintings of the past, especially the art of writers, and also fought against the commercialization of the creative process. They gravitated to the world of pure forms and colors, techniques and materials. This was very similar to what happened in European and Russian art circles at the beginning of the twentieth century, as well as what has been observed in Soviet culture since the 1950s, when creativity existed for the sake of an idea in a limited circle and did not seek a compromise with art institutions.

The Juelan Society became the first art association in China, which advocated the development of the achievements of Western contemporary art. The main participants, mostly trained abroad, were fond of impressionism, post-Impressionism, imitated Fauvism, Cubism and other trends. In fact, they explored the possibilities that already existed, but gave them a local flavor, themes and their own vision. At the same time, many of the Soviet nonconformists had the most direct connection with the avant-garde of the 1910s and 1920s. Among them, for example, were students of P. A. Filonov, K. S. Malevich, M. V. Matyushin, etc., although in general they were still more oriented to Western examples of contemporary art of the second half of the XX century.

The head of the society, Pan Xunqin, was characterized by a craving for deformation of form and abstraction, and there were notes of surrealism in his work. The master opposed the emphasized "naturalism" and excessively "realistic" paintings. In them, in his opinion, the authors mechanically and flatly imitated nature. He believed that art is, first of all, an artist's selfexpression tool [6, p. 24]. His first solo exhibition, held in Shanghai in September 1932, after the artist returned from Europe to China, made a great impression on the public. Later , Ni Ide will write about this event and the reaction to it as follows: "His [Pan Xunqin's] style has no definite trend, and a variety of features are found in it: from flat painting to linear, from realistic to decorative, from deformation to abstraction... It's as if he takes the images that are popular in Paris now and creates them anew in his own way" [7, p. 2]. It is interesting that the master often directly borrowed images associated with European culture and adapted them to national characteristics, and then transformed them in accordance with his understanding of a particular direction in art. For example, in the painting "Son of the Earth", the author reinterpreted Christian motives in generalized forms close to Fauvism. If the Soviet artist of a later time, A.D. Arefyev, expressed his sense of modernity, then for Pan Xunqin, the images created are something superhuman, symbols associated with his understanding of the culture of his native country.

A loyal associate of Pan Xunqin, Ni Ide studied in Japan and specialized in the history and theory of Japanese and Western art. After returning to China, he translated a significant number of theoretical works of Western art critics into Chinese. He also owns the passion-filled "Manifesto of the Juelan Society". The early works of the art critic are associated with impressionism, but later he became interested in P. Cezanne and A. Matisse, especially Fauvism. Ni Ide believed that "the meaning of art lies in the expression of thought enclosed in an image." He opposed both vulgar realistic works capable only of "imitating nature" and paintings blindly playing with spectacular lines and colors. For him, painting is an expression of the author, therefore, the positions of all objects can be changed, they themselves can be moved and deformed, and everything useless and unnecessary can be freely removed to make the work simpler [6, p. 34]. By postulating these ideas, he opened the way for the creative experiments of his colleagues.

Another prominent member of the Juelan Society was Zhang Xian. The modeling of his form is clear and clear, the image is concise, the lines are rough and free. His manner was distinguished by energetic writing, gloomy and cool color, which gave a difficult psychological atmosphere to his canvases. The master sought to show the images as monumental and generalized as possible. ZhangXian tended to neosymbolism, reflected the world of dreams, dreams, experiences through symbols, which resembled the work of the nonconformist G. A. Ustyugov, who, like the Chinese artist, was fond of A. Matisse and A. Marquet. In his works, the Soviet master sought to "make a person cry and dream, learn to think from paintings in order to be a man of truth" [8].

Qiu Ti explored the possibilities of the expressive language of still life, which resembled experiments with the form of the Soviet master D. M. Krasnopevtsev. Dayu's experiments with abstraction are close to what O. N. Tselkov did later in the Soviet Union. Both authors were self-taught, which allowed them to create in conditions of much greater freedom than those who had passed academic training. As the Soviet artist wrote: "For example, if I draw a cucumber from nature who would dare to claim that my cucumber is not like? No one knows what this cucumber will be tomorrow! And in a hundred years?" [9]. It is noteworthy that representatives of the People's Republic of China, who had the opportunity to see the works of O. N. Tselkov, were outraged by them and considered them an attempt to "push through" the values of bourgeois culture. This indicated that the activity of the Juelan Society in the conditions of Chinese society was a very bold phenomenon. Moreover, if in the Republic of China they looked at the experiments of artists with caution, then in the New China up to the end of the 1970s they were simply impossible even in underground conditions. In addition, later Pan Xunqin wrote that such diverse artists united due to the understanding of the futility of the efforts made separately and the unwillingness to "get attached to a certain force" [10, p. 51].

From the moment of its official foundation until 1935, the Juelan Society held four art exhibitions with the participation of the main members and their numerous associates. In 1932, the first of them took place, in 1933 the second in the premises of the World Society on Pushi Road in Shanghai. The fourth and fifth were in 1934 and 1935, respectively. These projects were organized and carried out at the expense of the participants, but most of the costs were borne by Pan Xunqin. Another income item is the sale of works, but it was unstable and ineffective. The composition of the artists changed, since most of the exhibited authors simply did not belong to the society, and sometimes did not share the beliefs of its key representatives. For example, such famous masters as Liang Sihong, Li Zhongsheng or Guan Liang participated in the projects of the association once, and then left its ranks. In addition, Juelan's competition at that time was the Huelang Society, which also attracted groups of artists, but was in opposition to those who advocated the modernization of the artistic form of Chinese art.

In 1935, after the fourth exhibition, the Juelan Society was dissolved on the initiative of the creators themselves. Pan Xunqin later wrote about this as follows: "The four exhibitions were like throwing stones into a pond one after another. Although there was a quiet noise of falling water and small splashes on the surface of the water, the stones quickly sank into the pond. As a result, the water surface still returned to its original state" [5, p. 5]. Researchers in China have traditionally identified three main causes of decay. First, Japan invaded China, and the issue of repelling foreign aggression became more relevant than experiments in fine art. Secondly, instability and insecurity prevented artists from developing, collaborating, promoting ideas and creativity. Thirdly, the lack of significant economic support played a detrimental role, since the Government of the Republic of China, having loyally accepted the fact of the society's activities, initially did not seek to interfere or help it.

In addition, the creative searches of members of the society were extremely inconsistent, the study of Western schools of painting by artists, such as Fauvism, Impressionism and Cubism, was distinguished by formality and superficiality. Mostly the searches remained at the level of the author's samples in technical practice and the first approaches to creative thinking, they frankly lacked purposeful actions. In addition, the fundamental rejection of realism and the academic school, which most Chinese still liked, did not go into the hands of representatives of society. They did not try to combine traditional Chinese art and the material, means and techniques they offered. Due to the lack of a clearly defined concept, the ideas of society have not taken root, have not gained popularity, have not formed an artistic direction. Subsequently, an exclusively "realistic" manner prevailed in China, while artists who experimented with non-standard techniques and genres, types and trends were excluded from the cultural life of the country until the end of the "Cultural Revolution" [11, p. 102].

All representatives of the Juelan society had their own vision and preferences, as did representatives of the Russian-Soviet avant-garde. Meanwhile, Chinese masters, unlike the latter, did not come up with something new for the global artistic process. They sought to become an example of radical changes, first of all, for Chinese fine art, to learn how to express themselves in an artistic form in the way that contemporary Western artists did.

Paradoxically, the work of the members of the Juelan Society has not been of interest to the artistic world of the country for a long time. To a large extent, this was due to the collapse of the war, the creation of a New China, which initially, like the USSR friendly to it in the 1950s and 1960s, set a course for realistic art. This course became stronger during the events of the "Cultural Revolution". It was only with the onset of the period of "reforms and openness" in the late 1970s that Chinese masters began to come into contact with the actual world art. At the same time, the active development of postmodern trends has generated a surge of attention to modernism. It was as if Chinese art needed to go through this stage, which was necessary for integration into the artistic process, the formation of its understanding of the essence of modern art, the transition from "pure forms" to "art for art's sake". However, the experiments of the Chinese with abstractionism, Cubism and other "isms", like their colleagues in Soviet Russia, were not welcomed and criticized, although they were not prohibited.

The increase in the avant-garde and the craving for its interpretation among Chinese artists of the last third of the XX century were far from accidental. These are the direct results of a revision of the attitude to realism, an attempt to create art not for propaganda, but to achieve the autonomy of its creators, the assertion of their own right to choose the language of expression. The key figure of this movement was Wu Guanzhong, who collaborated with such art groups as the Star Art Group and The Art of Wild Grass. Their members opposed both official art and the popular Western mainstream, choosing the language of the avant-garde as an alternative [12, p. 52]. In the future, the vector of creativity was picked up by the figures of the "New Wave", but already at the height of the 1980s. However, the masters of the "New Wave" did not make real innovations in the artistic language. Thus, at the landmark exhibition of contemporary art in 1989, works were presented that only interpreted either the achievements of Western modernist artists or the creative solutions of representatives of postmodern trends.

Meanwhile, in the next decade, the features of conceptual art associated with politics, rethinking realistic trends and symbolism began to appear in the works of artists who previously preferred avant-garde experiments. It was in such an environment and on a similar basis that the phenomenon of Chinese "political art" was born, combining the modernist form with painful images and problems for the Chinese [13]. Thus, in the 1990s, Wang Guangyi contrasted extremely naturalistic images of Chinese workers, peasants and soldiers, created in the spirit of the painting of the "Cultural Revolution", with popular symbols in Western popular culture, emphasizing the gap between them. Fan Lijun performed canvases within the framework of "cynical realism", ironizing and often ridiculing official art, devoid, in his opinion, of any humanity [14, p. 108]. In all such experiments, the influence of the avant-garde is clearly felt, primarily in such aspects as the artist's position in relation to official art, the use of expressive means of various "isms" of the 1930s in a modern pro-Western reading, social criticism and the desire for creative freedom.

Thus, based on the comparison, it can be concluded that there are certain parallels between the Russian-Soviet and Chinese versions of the avant-garde of the 1930s and the specifics of its connection with the unofficial art of the second half of the twentieth century. Soviet nonconformism was born within the framework of different associations, each of which developed and developed its own direction, including in line with the continuation and updated interpretation of the avant-garde line. The masters of the Soviet underground were characterized by non-market, semi-official, communicative, but in a closed environment of "their own".

In China, the Juelan Society has opened a new page in national art. The merit of the founders of the association also consisted in the fact that they were able to build an island of a lively artistic atmosphere where the most diverse masters of painting could interact, albeit for a short time. Members of the society contributed to the launch of the mechanism of adaptation and reinterpretation of the achievements of Western painting in Chinese art, opening the boundaries for the emergence of a "revolutionary impulse" in Chinese contemporary art at the turn of the XX and XXI centuries [15, p. 208]. If at that time the association did not have a significant impact on artistic processes, then later in the art of the 1980s and 1990s it became a creative reference point for innovative artists [16, p. 324]. The Chinese in the last third of the twentieth century acted quite openly, but on the sidelines, without the support of government structures. Underground artists tried to include in their circle as many colleagues, connoisseurs and connoisseurs of art of new forms as possible, even if they did not fully agree with them, since their goal was, first of all, the renewal of all Chinese art. Attracting public attention helped to overcome the "official/unofficial art dichotomy" and the gradual synthesis of both principles in the modern art process in China [17, p. 121]. Similar processes are taking place in Russia, although at present there is some separation between current trends and those forms and meanings that the state adheres to.

The result of this study was the identification of the relationship between the phenomena of the artistic life of Russia and China noted by the author on the example of the work of such authors as Pan Xunqin, A.D. Arefyev, Zhang Xian, G. A. Ustyugov, Qiu Ti, D. M. Krasnopevtsev, Wu Dayu, O. N. Tselkov, etc., who worked in the second third and second half of XX v. The analysis showed that the work of modernists and avant-gardists of the beginning of the XX century was distinguished by relevance and was full of discoveries. Soviet artists of the second half of the XX century, largely relying on the traditions of the Russian-Soviet avant-garde, nevertheless focused on the actual art of postmodernism. Meanwhile, Soviet and Chinese non-formal artists equally held the opinion that the author should be an independent researcher looking for means to express his idea.

References
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2. The elusive underground. (2013). Novye Izvestiya. Retrieved from https://newizv.ru/news/2013-07-03/uskolzayuschiy-andegraund-171160 (In Russian)
3. Andreeva, E.Y. (2011). “The Order of Unsold Painters” and Leningrad Expressionism. Dissolute Righteous, or the Order of Mendicant Painters. Exhibition catalogue, St. Petersburg, New Museum, 9-22. (In Russian)
4. A Brief History of the Juelan Society (1932). Shanghai. (In Chinese)
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6. Ruili, Q. (2015). A Study of Western Painting Exhibitions in Shanghai in the 1930s (dissertation). Shanghai University. (In Chinese)
7. Yide, N. (1935). Yuan Friends and Travels. Shanghai. (In Chinese)
8. Molodkovets, Y. (2022). Gennady Ustyugov, a classic of Leningrad art (available in the Hermitage and the Russian Museum), at the age of 85 showed an exhibition at the Invalid House Gallery. SOBAKA.ru. Retrieved from: https:/ /www.sobaka.ru/entertainment/art/150927 (In Russian)
9. Oleg Tsekov: I sucked it out of my own finger! (2000). Journal “Spark”. Retrieved from https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/2287944 (In Russian)
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The subject of the study is not defined by the author either in the title ("Soviet unofficial art and the Chinese Juelan Art Society in the twentieth century: compositional and genre searches and creative parallels") or in the text of the article. From the general context of the presented material, it seems that the author is interested in the comparison of two completely different and socio-historically non-overlapping phenomena of the artistic life of China in the 1930s and the USSR in the 1950s and 1980s: comparison for the sake of comparison, i.e. method for the sake of method. And what this method is used for remains unclear. On the one hand, the bold author's comparison generates new meanings: in particular, it allows the author to observe certain stylistic parallels in the works of Pan Xunqin and A.D. Arefyev, Zhang Xian and G. A. Ustyugov, Qiu Ti and D. M. Krasnopevtsev, Wu Dayu and O. N. Tselkov. However, the source of these new meanings, according to the reviewer, has not been clarified for the author himself. Although it should be noted that the Soviet nonconformism of the 1950s and 1980s, as the author himself notes, did not arise from scratch, but relied on the foundation of the avant-gardists of the 1920s and 1930s, who pursued goals more similar to the manifesto of the Juelan society. I would like to dig deeper here to see more prominent parallels: the avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s and the nonconformism of the 1950s and 1980s in the USSR, the search for Chinese Juelan artists of the 1930s and the rethinking of their heritage in China in the 1980s. Perhaps it is precisely such parallels that will reveal the interrelation of the phenomena of artistic life noted by the author and determine the subject of his scientific interest. On the other hand, the reviewer would not like to impose his own point of view on the author, so he recommends independently formulating the subject of the study and determining in which object (in which part of reality) it is located. The lack of a transparent research program (object, subject, problem, purpose, tasks and methods of solving them), in the opinion of the reviewer, is the main problem of the presented material. As a result of the refinement of the methodological apparatus of the study, the empirical material selected by the author may appear in a different light, and the historical process of evolution of the fine arts of the USSR and China may acquire logical cause-and-effect relationships. So far, we have to state that the subject of the study has not been formulated and disclosed by the author, although the empirical material is very interesting. The research methodology is anchored by a comparative approach (comparison to find common properties and differences between two phenomena of artistic life), reinforced by separate techniques of figurative and stylistic analysis of works of fine art. Perhaps the lack of formulation of the subject of the study and a clear research program constitute the only methodological difficulty of the author, which can be overcome when finalizing the article. The relevance of comparing the various phenomena of the artistic life of Russia (USSR) and China today is beyond doubt. It is due to the emerging rapprochement of the cultures of the two countries. Therefore, the search for intercultural connections in the evolution of the artistic style of fine art in the comparative way presented by the author is quite relevant and timely. The scientific novelty of the presented material is limited so far by bold comparisons of the common properties and differences of two non-overlapping phenomena of the artistic life of the USSR and China. However, it remains doubtful that some intersections can still be found if you dig deeper into the history of Soviet and Chinese fine art. Then, perhaps, the author will be able to flawlessly argue his point of view, which will constitute the addition of new knowledge in art criticism. The style is generally scientific, although attention should be paid to a number of stylistic mistakes: 1) it should be noted that the publishing house imposes strict requirements on the style of use of dates (see https://nbpublish.com/fkmag/common_106.html ); 2) some statements are inconsistent, which makes the author's thought unclear (for example: "One of the key representatives of the Chinese art world of those years was the Shanghai artist Pan Xunqin" [in the general context, it is better to specify specific dates, and not "those years" because before we are talking about 2 different historical times], "They posed a certain danger due to their active and freedom-loving position" [the proposal is not agreed, and the general meaning of the thesis requires clarification], "The search for Pan Xiunqin reminds [not agreed], "... nevertheless, I was more interested in the dining, and sometimes unsightly sides of life..." [the thought is not clear, perhaps the wrong word is used], "... everyone's efforts alone..." [not agreed]), it is necessary to subtract; 3) the statement "the first exhibition of unofficial art It took place in 1974 at the Druzhba Club in Moscow" does not correspond to reality: on December 1, 1962, Khrushchev visited the exhibition of avant-gardists dedicated to the 30th anniversary of the Moscow branch of the USSR Union of Artists, as well as the "exhibition of twelve" on January 22, 1967 at the Druzhba club. The structure of the article needs to be finalized: in the introduction, it is necessary to present the research program to the reader, from the main part to present the results of the study, and in the final conclusion to evaluate the results obtained. The bibliography does not fully disclose the problem area of the study (there is no literature for the last 5 years), and also needs a little proofreading according to editorial requirements. Appealing to opponents is generally correct. Of course, after finalizing the article, taking into account the comments of the reviewer, it will be of interest to the readership of the journal "Philosophy and Culture".

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In the journal Philosophy and Culture, the author presented his article "The role of the avant-garde in the unofficial art of China and Soviet Russia in the 1930s and 1980s: creative parallels", in which a study of the features and characteristics characteristic of the works of this trend, written by modern Chinese and Soviet artists, was conducted. The author proceeds in the study of this issue from the fact that at the beginning of the XX century, the artistic life of China was marked by the clash of traditional art and innovative influences introduced by Western culture, the emergence of ideas of innovative and experimental currents of modernism, in particular Fauvism, Cubism, Futurism, Dadaism, Expressionism, etc. The author correlates what happened in China in the 1930s with the processes that took place among Russian-Soviet artists representatives of the avant-garde trend of Soviet art in the 1920s and 1930s. The author notes the similarity of the development of art in both countries in the post-war period, when the creativity of masters who created works of art developed in opposition to what their state welcomed and promoted. In Soviet Russia, nonconformism developed in the context of socialist realism, and in China, representatives of the "New Wave" and other movements of the late 1970s and 1980s opposed revolutionary realism and romanticism. The author also noted the commonality of the artists of both countries in that they interpreted Western forms of painting and art, sought an individual manner, and built relationships with each other, society and government. At the same time, they somehow maintained a connection with the avant-garde experiments of the second quarter of the 20th century, emphasizing and sometimes defiantly denying it. The purpose of this study is to identify the artistic and historical prerequisites and features of rethinking the ideas of the avant-garde in the work of subsequent generations of artists, to characterize its influence on the formation of unofficial art and its corresponding artistic and stylistic features by comparing the phenomena of the artistic life of Russia and China in the 1930s and the unofficial art of both countries in the second half of the XX century. The research methodology is based on a comparative approach, that is, comparing and searching for common properties and differences between two phenomena of artistic life, as well as an imaginative and stylistic analysis of works of fine art. The novelty of the research lies in the presentation of material designed to complement the historical process of the evolution of the fine arts of the USSR and China and to determine the logical cause-and-effect relationships of a number of similar phenomena, revealing their relationship with avant-garde art. The theoretical basis of the research is the works of such Russian and Chinese art historians as B. Groys, K.A. Svetlyakov, E.Y. Andreeva, M. Wang, V.B. Timofeev, E.V. Provorov, etc. The empirical basis of the study was the works of Chinese and Soviet artists of the twentieth century. Having studied the degree of scientific elaboration of the problem, the author concludes that the theme of creativity of representatives of both Soviet and Chinese unofficial art has been sufficiently worked out in scientific works. However, as the author notes, these works are devoted to the work of certain artists and are mostly of an overview nature. The author also noted the absence in scientific discourse of attempts to compare phenomena in the unofficial art of Soviet Russia and China in the 1930s and 1980s and their connection with the avant-garde searches of the beginning of the century, which, like the "second avant-garde" are controversial for the science of both states. To achieve the purpose of the study, the author conducted a detailed historical and socio-cultural analysis of the activities of informal artists and art associations of Soviet Russia and China in the 1930s and 1980s (Juelan Society, Ni Ide, Chen Chengbo, "Star Art Group" "Art of Wild Grass", etc.). The author notes the main similarities and points of contact in the development of this informal the art of both countries, their conceptual and philosophical justification of their creativity. As noted by the author, Soviet nonconformism originated within the framework of different associations, each of which developed and developed its own direction, including in line with the continuation and updated interpretation of the avant-garde line. The masters of the Soviet underground were characterized by non-market, semi-official, communicative, but in a closed environment of "their own". The artists of the Chinese underground tried to include in their circle as many colleagues, connoisseurs and connoisseurs of art of new forms as possible, even if they did not fully agree with them, since their goal was, first of all, the renewal of all Chinese art. The result of the author's research was the identification of the relationship between the phenomena of the artistic life of Russia and China on the example of the work of such authors as Pan Xunqin, A.D. Arefyev, Zhang Xian, G. A. Ustyugov, Qiu Ti, D. M. Krasnopevtsev, Wu Dayu, O. N. Tselkov, etc., who worked in the second third and second half of the XX century. The analysis allowed the author to come to the conclusion that the work of modernists and avant-gardists of the early 20th century was characterized by relevance and was full of discoveries. Soviet artists of the second half of the 20th century largely relied on the traditions of the Russian-Soviet avant-garde, but were already guided by the actual art of postmodernism. Meanwhile, Soviet and Chinese non-formal artists were equally of the opinion that the author should be an independent researcher looking for means to express his idea. After conducting the research, the author presents the conclusions on the studied materials. It seems that the author in his material touched upon relevant and interesting issues for modern socio-humanitarian knowledge, choosing a topic for analysis, consideration of which in scientific research discourse will entail certain changes in the established approaches and directions of analysis of the problem addressed in the presented article. The results obtained allow us to assert that the study of the mutual influence of different cultures due to intercultural interaction and the facts of the manifestation of such mutual influence in the subjects of artistic culture is of undoubted theoretical and practical cultural interest and can serve as a source of further research. The material presented in the work has a clear, logically structured structure that contributes to a more complete assimilation of the material. An adequate choice of methodological base also contributes to this. The bibliographic list of the research consists of 17 sources, including foreign ones, which seems sufficient for generalization and analysis of scientific discourse on the studied problem. The author fulfilled his goal, received certain scientific results that allowed him to summarize the material. It should be noted that the article may be of interest to readers and deserves to be published in a reputable scientific publication. However, the article needs to be corrected.