Rejecting art as propaganda

“Going Home (Suzhou) (oil on canvas), by Chen Yifei, in the show  “ Art Purposes: Object Lessons for the Liberal Arts,’’ at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, through Nov. 10.

“Going Home (Suzhou) (oil on canvas), by Chen Yifei, in the showArt Purposes: Object Lessons for the Liberal Arts,’’ at the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, through Nov. 10.



The exhibition marks the 125th anniversary of the opening of the museum's Walker Art Building by showcasing the museum's most exceptional contemporary works. Many of the 150 featured objects are being exhibited for the first time, including Chen Yifei's work above. The museum says he painted “Going Home’’ after China's Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution as a reaction to his country's use of art as propaganda during that time. “The piece not only represents his rejection of art as propaganda but his hope that the end of the revolution could open up new possibilities for art. The rest of the works in ‘Art Purposes’ are similarly challenging and provocative, offering viewers new insights and perspectives. ‘‘