China and United States formally established diplomatic relations reversing decades of Cold War opposition.

Beijing artists campaigning for expressionist styles of modern art hang their works from the fences outside the National Art Gallery in the first Stars Exhibition in advance of the 30th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic. When the exhibition is prematurely closed by local authorities, they march on City Hall under banners demanding artistic freedom. Weeks later, a second formal Stars exhibition is held with official support in Beihai Park, Beijing.

In December, Soviet troops invaded Afghanistan to prop up the communist government of the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) against a growing insurgency.

Scar Painting and Star group arose as the two most important art movements that questioned the conditions and recent history of contemporary China.