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Edition 2014

Claude Hudelot Collection

The panorama, mirror of celestial bureaucracy

In China, one genre seems to prefigure the panoramic photograph: portraits of emperors or high dignitaries, alone or as a couple, then shown again with their descendents. These vertical ‘accumulations’ in the form of family trees are the ancestors of panoramas. The vogue for panoramas represents a rite perfectly suited to Confucian or Communist ideology. The ultimate development of the genre is undoubtedly the political panorama. When Mao Zedong came to power, he became the absolute symbol of ‘celestial bureaucracy’. Everything here has a meaning: the position of each person in relation to the epicentre, which is always ‘the President’, the clothing worn, the setting. Mao Zredong seems to take a sly pleasure in differentiating himself. In short, the Maoist panorama is an almost inexhaustible source of information for any historian of contemporary China. Claude Hudelot

Exhibition curator: Claude Hudelot.
Framing by Circad, Paris.
Event organized as part of France-China 50
Exhibition venue: Bureau DesLices.