Yan’an nostalgia

In the 1930s and ’40s, a new woodcut movement initiated by noted literary figure Lu Xun thrived in China. Woodcut prints were viewed as a medium to depict the plight of the masses and popularize the idea of a revolution. The movement became fashionable among young people who sought a progressive means to transform the country and people.

Yang Li, then a teenager, was one of those who found inspiration in the pieces created by several artists of the time.

“Woodcuts are small in size compared to paintings, but the intensity and strength of the traces left by the blades are quite compelling,” says 91-year-old Yang.