Chinese Propaganda Posters exhibitions 

Chinese Propaganda Posters, “Serve the People, China: Revolution - Evolution from 1949 to 1983

Chinese Propaganda Posters add a significant historical layer to a collection focused on art made in China by European, American and Chinese artists at the end of 20th century and beginning of 21st century.  This collection consists of a variety of propaganda and educational posters produced during the period of 1949 - 1979. This may not seem historic to the untrained observer, but this distinct era of Chinese history is long gone, and there is only a modicum of interest in modern Chinese society to preserve the art of this tumultuous age. Perusing this collection one can see the transformation of society and its values, making them an invaluable tool not only for the study of art history, but for socio-political history as well.   

In the mid-90s, before the creation of the Hafnia Foundation, Stevens Vaughn and Rodney Cone began their interest in Chinese propaganda posters. At that time the posters had lost popularity in favor of building a modern and opened to the world-China.

 

For this reason, people began to keep the old propaganda posters, once used to decorate homes and workplaces, under beds, in closets and other places out of sight. Hafnia founders then began visiting homes of numerous Chinese citizens to buy these posters and create what is now one of the largest collections of Chinese propaganda in the world.

 

Rather than collecting dust and deteriorating, these posters were organized on the basis of a conservatorship. Despite containing great historical and scientific political value, this collection presented to you is selected primarily for their artistic value. These posters were once prized for their beauty and decorative use in times when art was considered political and subject to government oversight.

 

The style used intersects various artistic styles such as social realism with traditional Chinese watercolor. Some parts, such as peasant paintings are beautiful examples of naïve art, being flat, colorful and using an unstable sense of perspective, but with an undeniable natural talent by their painters. These paintings were especially appropriate for an era in which Mao supported the natural creativity of the Chinese people.

 

As a purpose this art also focuses on educating and inspiring the public toward the behavior and right thinking, nothing could be more important to the goal of adequate parenting. Family harmony and duty of children has always been an important element in Chinese culture, so it follows that these values ​​will be expanded and influenced by political ideology and social norms of the time. These posters go beyond mere representation of life as it is, but portray life as it should be. They reveal a brighter, more prosperous future. This collection is divided into 9 categories, each of which plays a specific role in the proper development of children and therefore the future socialist society.

 

It is the desire of the owners of this collection that the beauty of these posters encourage students from Chinese history, political science and / or visual arts, to continue delving beyond the vast field of study that is the birth of modern China.

 

Hafnia Foundation is proud to present this collection in South America and expose more people to the beauty and ambivalence of Chinese propaganda posters. This duality is best captured with the famous quote from Deng Xiaoping based on an old saying in the province of Sichuan, "It does not matter if the cat is black or white, what matters is that it catches mice."

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