In the spring of 2015, a series of shanshui landscapes by cartoon artist Feng Zikai decorated official China Dream posters in Shanghai, and could since then be encountered in the streets and subway stations of all major cities. While the dissem- ination of national values and active citizen participation in the government’s envi- ronmental modernization program is clearly the major trajectory, this rapprochement towards a formerly prosecuted artist concomitantly illustrates the current reorientation towards local traditions and cultural continuity in China’s state ideology and propa- ganda work. At the same time, the 2014/15 Shanghai arts scene contributed a number of avant-garde landscape art works that pronounced their creators’ concern about the environmental crisis. It will be argued that there is a subliminal dialogue between Xi Jinping’sproject of landscaping the China Dream and the artists’ selective reclamation of shanshui aesthetics in their ecocritical approaches. Whereas the national propa- ganda machine strives to appease opposition against rampant industrial pollution and heritage demolition, the cultural sphere responds by taking the government’s tam- pering with traditional ethico-aesthetic principles at its word.