Chinese Posters

1. Early years (1949-1965)
2. Cultural Revolution (1966-1976)
3. Modernization (1977-1997)

The Chinese posters on this site are divided in three sections: the early years (1949-1965), the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) and the period of modernization up to the present (1977-1997). See also chineseposters.net.

Since 1949, the Communist Party is in power in China, with Mao Zedong as chairman. In the early years, poster propaganda focuses on building the new country. The late 1950s bring the forced collectivization of agriculture and the campaign for the Great Leap Forward, which was to boost China's industrial production. The happy, energetic, and idyllic scenes on the posters contrast with the grim reality of mismanagement in industry and agriculture, which resulted in a horrible famine in which 30 to 40 million people starving to death.

On the posters, elements of Socialist Realism are recognizable, inspired by examples and teachers from the Soviet Union. From the beginning they are blended with elements of traditional Chinese painting and popular art: sweet colours, applied in soft gradations or combinations of heavy black contours with bright flat colours.

In the early 1960s there is an economic liberalization to encourage production. At the same time, an extremely aggressive style of propaganda is developed for use against Western imperialism. This is especially evident in posters on the Vietnam War.

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1. The central people's government constitutes the only legitimate government of all the people of the People's Republic of China, ca. 1949

2. Qian Daxin, Elect good people to do good things, 1953

3. Li Zongjin, Study the advanced production experience of the Soviet Union, 1953

4. Cai Zhenhua, Produce more iron and steel to send to the front lines of national construction, 1953

5. Xin Lilang, New view in the rural village, 1953

6. Wang Liuying, Wu Shaoyun a.o., Build new socialist rural villages, 1958

7. Rui Guangting, The people's communes are good , 1958

8. Tianjin People's Fine Arts Publishing House collective work, Take steel as the key link, for a leap forward in all fields, 1958

9. Wu Shaoyun, We sell dry, clean, neat, and selected cotton to the state, 1958

10. Jin Meisheng, The vegetables are green, the cucumbers plumb, the yield is abundant, 1959

11. Jin Meisheng, A high tower of winter gourds, 1959

12. Shao Wenjin, Strike the battle drum of the Great Leap Forward ever louder, 1959

13. Bei Yingren, Zhang Lingzhi, Celebrate the 10th anniversary of the founding of our great nation, 1959

14. Jiang Nanchun, Han Min, Ride the wind and cleave the waves to realize a leap forward in all fields, 1960

15. Zhang Yuqing, The new center of the commune, 1961

16. Ha Qiongwen, American imperialism must be driven out of Southern Vietnam!, 1963

17. Jin Meisheng, The seeds have been well selected, the harvest is more bountiful every year, 1964

18. Li Mubai, Jin Xuechen, Good sisters at the conference of outstanding workers, 1964

19. Li Mubai, Jin Xuechen, Chairman Mao meets with model workers, 1964

20. Zhou Ruizhuang, Vigorously support the anti-imperialist struggle of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, ca. 1964