Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education (ICADCE 2022)

Red Culture Research in Revolutionary Theme Prints: Taking “Flying Luding Bridge” as an Example
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Since the emerging woodcut print movement, a large number of prints with revolutionary themes have been produced. Lu Xun, regarded as the “father of China's emerging woodcut”, introduced a large number of foreign woodcut art, “emphasizing the need to serve the struggle, the need for realism in art, and the need for the unity of art and production” [1]. The emerging woodcut print movement began in the 1930s and 1940s. Due to the national conditions of China at that time, printmaking became a good form of revolutionary propaganda. In addition, because of many progressive youths' spirit of “just do it” and printmaking's own advantages, a large number of revolutionary themed printmaking works had be published. Lu Xun said, “During the revolution, printmaking is the most widely used. Although it is extremely hasty, it can be done in an instant” [2]. Revolutionary themed prints promoted the revolution and inspired the public. Revolutionary prints include portraits (portraits of heroic martyrs and warriors), war-related scenes, toiling people in revolt, revolutionary construction matters, and indirect representations of revolution such as war sites, conference sites, the toiling masses persecuted or oppressed by war, and the new life after the revolution, etc. In 1946, Xia Ziyi engraved “The Image of Wen Yiduo”, which is a revolutionary theme print depicting Mr. Wen Yiduo, a famous democratic fighter; In 1941, Huang Yan's “Searching for Remaining Enemies” and Jiang Bibo's “Flying Luding Bridge” in 1960 reflected the battle scene; In 1947, Li Hua's “Arise, Slaves of Famine and Cold” is a depiction of the oppressed toiling masses rising up to resist and carry out revolution; In 1945, Zhang Yingxue's “Scenery of Northern Shaanxi” shows a peaceful landscape. The characters in the picture are very small, and they live peacefully in production and life, which indirectly reflects the revolution. “Remember the past and guide the future”, the revolutionary prints reflect a period of history, inspire national aspirations, and escort the construction of socialism.

Due to historical reasons, emerging woodcut prints are the most important part of modern Chinese revolutionary prints. The revolutionary prints of this period are the image history of social revolution. An Xue once described it in this way, “This new woodcut print movement is a revolution in which revolutionaries use the form and power of “pro art” to depict the suffering of the vast majority of the underclass, awaken the people and sing praises for the revolution. In this regard, the history of its development and evolution can be called the pictorial history of the entire social revolution” [3].


The print “Flying Luding Bridge” is a picture reflecting the famous battle of the Chinese Workers and Peasants' Red Army in Luding on May 29, 1935. The scene of the Red Army desperately climbing the chains to seize the Luding Bridge moved generations of Chinese sons and daughters. This print was created by Jiang Bibo, a student at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute at the time. After the work was created, it was recognized by the art world and was collected by the China Revolution Museum (later merged into the National Museum of China).

2.1. Process of Creation

In 1960, the Chinese History Museum and the Chinese Revolution Museum collected artworks on the theme of the Long March from all over the country. Artists associations in each province responded positively. The Chongqing Artists Association and the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute were each assigned two creative tasks, and the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute was responsible for the creation on themes related to Jinsha River and Luding Bridge. For this reason, Jiang Bibo, who was a sophomore at the Sichuan Fine Arts Institute, was fortunate enough to try this kind of creation. In order to create this work, Jiang Bibo came to bridgehead of Luding Bridge to do a lot of sketches, collected relevant materials, visited local old boatmen, and personally went to the local army to experience the life in the army, and feel every bit of the soldier. In order to seek the difficult and dangerous scenes of the Red Army crossing the river, she captured the strong emotions that can move herself and the audience, and obtained inspiration for artistic creation. It is said that Jiang Bibo was looking for inspiration on the Jinsha River, and when she ventured across the river in a small wooden boat, she almost collided with the reef and died. She herself once said, “Art is not to wait for inspiration to create, but to capture inspiration while doing hard work” [4]. The water of the Dadu River is turbulent and turbulent. Facing the surging river under the Luding Bridge, many girls stand on the swaying Luding Bridge with fear and fear, unable to move an inch. In order to experience the hardships of the Red Army soldiers crossing the Luding Bridge, she once held the iron cable in hand and stepped on the wooden board to repeatedly experience the Luding Bridge, looking for the so-called “artistic inspiration”, in fact, to experience the “Long March spirit” of the Red Army soldiers.

After on-the-spot experience and the collection of relevant materials, Jiang Bibo, after returning to school, pondered over and over again, and overcame the difficulties of creating after several revisions. She followed the guide of her soul and used a knife as a substitute for writing. After half a year of hard work, she presented this color-coded woodcut print “Flying Luding Bridge” to the public.

2.2. Artistic Value

“Flying Luding Bridge”, as a color-coded woodcut print, was created in 1960 and completed in 1961. At that time, many printmakers were still creating prints mainly in black and white woodcuts. Due to the complicated production process and the limitation of conditions, the number of color woodcuts in the printmaking industry was relatively small. The experience brought by such prints to the audience is undoubtedly fresh and full of vigor. The size of “Flying Luding Bridge” is 72 cm x 102 cm. As a color-coded woodcut, such a size belongs to a large-scale printmaking in the print creation at that time, and it is even more difficult as a color-coded woodcut. This work shows the author's printmaking skills. The background color of “Flying Luding Bridge” is dominated by cool colors, which contrasts the iron ropes burned red by the artillery fire, as well as the warriors who are reckless on the iron ropes, brave the enemy's bullets, and the organic combination of red and yellow makes the image of the heroic warrior shocking. The large blocks of black in the picture are cleverly arranged at the center of the picture, which not only gives the picture a sense of balance, but also renders the atmosphere of the battlefield filled with gunpowder smoke. The color increases the expressiveness and appeal of the picture, and the characters are concise and generalized, which gives full play to the advantages of the printmaking using a knife as a substitute. The heroic warrior's resolute character is expressed with the majesty and force of the knife marks, and the heroic and reverence in the author's heart is also expressed incisively and vividly. The creation of artistic works should be based on the needs of the theme of expression, and the most suitable expression method should be selected.

For Jiang Bibo, the successful drawing of this work also directly affects her future creations. In “Gele Mountain Martyrs Group Sculptures”, she directly applied the facial treatment experience of “Flying Luding Bridge”. She applied the power of holding a stylus to draw on the board in her printmaking, and applied her grasp of the majestic atmosphere in black and white to the sculptures on the four facades. From this work, heroic works have become an important part of her creative career, such as “Unforgettable Memory”, “Soul Home”, “Long Live the Red Army”, “Blood-stained Great Wall, Yellow River Roaring, Five Heroes of the Langya Mountains, The Battle of Baoshan”, “Blood China”, etc. This series of revolutionary works enriched Chinese art culture and guided young art creators.

2.3. Social Value

After the successful creation of “Flying Luding Bridge”, it was not only collected by the official collection, but also included in the text of the primary school Chinese textbook “Flying Luding Bridge”. As an illustration of the article, it has good educational significance. The heroism sung by the works, as well as the author's tragic feelings and lofty beliefs, come from the heart, so they can directly touch the hearts of the audience. These are related to the author's upbringing environment and experience. The author grew up at the foot of Gele Mountain and was deeply baptized by the spirit of Hongyan. “Whenever I recall the photos my father brought back from the ‘11.27 Massacre’, I always I really feel that these heroes are full of noble feelings, full of selflessness and the courage to bear suffering. I want to express these great spiritual powers and sing the eternal and most precious sacrifice of human beings” [5]. Jiang Bibo responds to the call of the soul with art, follows her original intention to create, and makes art come alive.

Through the visual image of art, the work intuitively leads the audience into the revolutionary scene of “Flying Luding Bridge”, so that the exciting and heroic moment can be reproduced in people's minds, and the artistic charm of the art work can be brought into play, so that the audience can appreciate the art, and accept the baptism of the Long March spirit and strengthen patriotism at the same time.

The emergence of a series of literary and artistic works related to “Flying Luding Bridge”, especially the advent of classic works like this that has attracted widespread attention, promoted the Long March spirit of “Flying Luding Bridge”, and promoted local construction. Today, Luding County, Ganzi Prefecture, Sichuan Province has become a famous red cultural city and an important base for red cultural education.


The heroic deeds of “Flying Luding Bridge” were spread through various literary and artistic forms such as prints, oil paintings, articles, etc., so that the Chinese descendants of generation to generation are familiar with this history and remember it, which fully reflected the importance of literary and artistic dissemination. When literary and artistic works promote and guide people's thoughts, it is easier for the public to accept them. Lu Xun said in “Self-Preface to The Scream”: “...Our first priority is to change their spirits. The thing that is good at changing the spirit is that I thought it was natural to promote literature and art at that time, so I wanted to promote the literature and art movement” [6]. It can be seen that literary and artistic works play a very important role in spreading the revolutionary spirit and red culture.

Excellent literary and artistic works are free and open. They have real feelings, superb artistic skills and cultural factors that resonate with the public; they adhere to the people-centered creative orientation, and embody socialist core values. “The formation of socialist core values, as a spirit of the times, not only requires a period of historical development, but also cannot be separated from the cultivation of Chinese excellent traditional culture, revolutionary culture and advanced socialist culture. Finally, through strengthening educational guidance, the production and dissemination of literary and artistic creations, the values gradually integrate into all aspects of social development, and transform into people's emotional identity and behavior habits” [7]. Revolutionary culture plays an important role in socialist core values. Combining red culture, traditional culture, etc., and constantly launching excellent works of Acura in the new era, and creating excellent literary and artistic works that the people love to see, can the popular function of literary and artistic works be fully exerted and a new cultural situation full of socialism with Chinese characteristics will be built.

Excellent literary and artistic works stimulate and promote economic development. “Flying Luding Bridge” (including prints, oil paintings and literary works) makes people more aware of the revolutionary heroic deeds of “Flying and Seizing the Luding Bridge”, makes people familiar with the small county town of Luding, and makes Luding a famous red city in China; a “Kangding Love Song” sang a “Love Song Famous City”; An “Uncle Tom's Cabin” became a positive consequence of leading to the American Civil War and leading to an end to slavery in the United States; Literature and art act on people through the cognitive function of literary and artistic works, the aesthetic function of literary and artistic works, the entertainment function of literary and artistic works, and the educational function of literary and artistic works, etc., and bring economic development through the active role of people. “Literature and art are not passively attached to the social and economic foundation, but actively reflect and express the social and economic foundation, and at the same time, in turn give the social and economic foundation a huge and multi-level influence” [8]. Excellent Literary and artistic works have strong appeal and dissemination.


The founding of New China has gone through a lot of ups and downs and the baptism of countless wars. The martyrs who gave their precious lives for the construction of New China and for the liberation cause are worth remembering. People will never forget those heart-wrenching wars. The Long March spirit of the Red Army has inspired a new generation of Chinese sons and daughters. Printmaking has traveled with the revolutionary history. It has “red” genes and unique performance advantages. Printmakers have left people a large number of valuable spiritual wealth. People should earnestly experience the red culture and carry forward the revolutionary spirit of the martyrs in the revolutionary prints.


This article is the scientific research achievement of the 2022 characteristic scientific research incubation project “Red Culture Research in Revolutionary Prints (Ganzi)” of the Kamba Culture Research Center of Sichuan Minzu College, Project No.: KBFH2216.


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Cite This Article

AU  - Tongcheng Liu
PY  - 2022
DA  - 2022/11/21
TI  - Red Culture Research in Revolutionary Theme Prints: Taking “Flying Luding Bridge” as an Example
BT  - Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Arts, Design and Contemporary Education (ICADCE 2022)
PB  - Athena Publishing
SP  - 81
EP  - 84
SN  - 2949-8937
UR  -
DO  -
ID  - Liu2022
ER  -