November 25, 2013

0876 CHINA (Anhui) - Watching a performance

Because the man on the postcard 730 is from Anhui Province, and this postcard refers also to Water Regions, I suppose that these elders are from the same region. After their facial expressions, very interesting and well captured, and after the way that are seated, these people certainly watch to a performance, in which they involve wholeheartedly. Obvious, the reactions are different, and I can't help noticing the major differences between expressions. Unlike the faces of those in the background, expressing surprise, if not even fear, the one of the man in foreground, much more retained, reveals skepticism, disapproval, and even a spark of condescension. In fact the whole outfit of this man is more reserved and groomed, denoting a different character, and probably a superior intelligence or an education different from of the others people from the picture.

His umbrella and his clothes tell the same story. Of course that his tunic belongs to what it is known as Mao style, but comes out slightly to standards, because it doesn't have buttonholes, but a kind of Brandenburg buttons, often used in China in the pre-Communist period. Generally speaking, it's interesting to note that in China 20th century clothes accurately mirrored the political and social changes in the country. Sun Yat-sen, the Provisional President of the Chinese Republic proclaimed in 1911, is credited with the modernisation of Chinese men's dress, introducing the tunic with closed stand collar and centre-front buttons.

Subsequently were added four symmetrically placed pockets, and this tunic was modified and adopted after 1949 as China's national dress by Mao Zedong, who recognised the power of dress to project the ideology and to present a shared national identity. Declared aims were to detach  from the imperial past, and emphasize equality between people (eliminating differences in rank or sex), but actually Mao sought to depersonalize the individuals, transforming them into a mass of maneuver, including from aesthetic point of view.

About the stamps

The first two stamps are part of the series Charming Pearl River - Guangzhou (Canton), issued on June 28, 2010 and comprising four stamps with the same face value (1.20 CNY):
• Statue of Five Goats - it's on this postcard
• Guangzhou Grand Theater - it's on this postcard
• Melody of the pearl river
• Guangzhou International Convention and Exhibition

The third stamp is part of the series Ming and Qing Dynasty Furniture - Table, avout which I wrote here.

The last two stamps are part of the series Protecting the common homeland of mankind,about which I wrote here.

Mao suit - Wikipedia
Evolution and revolution: Chinese dress 1700s-1990s - Mao suit - Powerhouse Museum
Politics of Dress under Mao - Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding

Sender: Kun Hu (direct swap)
Sent from ? (? / China), on 03.07.2013

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