Liu Aimin was born in 1948 while his parents were traveling in an unidentified part of Northeast China. He grew up in Xian and attended the attached school of the Xian Academy of Fine Arts. Though the Cultural Revolution interrupted his education for ten years, he resumed his studies in 1977, and graduated from the Xian Academy of Fine Arts where he is now an instructor in the Oil Painting Department.
Oil on Canvas
51" x 63" (129 1/2cm x 160cm)
About this work
“Sisters” depicts the hard life that the Red Army experienced during the Long March (1934). It was particularly difficult for female soldiers and the artist has given the painting the title as a way of saying that these four women had to unite as ‘sisters’ to survive. Their clothing and the decorative sword on the back of the figure in the foreground indicate that maybe they were members of a cultural troupe and not combatants. Buried in the arms of the woman who lies directly underneath the hat is an infant. One can only imagine the hardships these individuals experienced. This poignant scene is painted in a Socialist Realist style commonly taught in Chinese art academies in the 1950’s and 1960’s. As “Sisters” was painted, however, in 1984, it is a reminder that young artists in the Post Cultural Revolution period of the 1980’s were still transitioning both technically and ideologically.