Chinese Posters

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

After Mao's death in 1976, his most fanatical supporters (called the Gang of Four) are arrested by Mao's successor, Hua Guofeng. He brings about reforms that are carried further by Deng Xiaoping, who gradually gains power. In his view, some liberalization is necessary to allow China to catch up with the world industrially and economically. For the first time, posters show traces of growing material wealth. Role models are used to teach people the desired attitude. But social problems are becoming visible too: corruption, crime, and overpopulation.
Political control over the visual arts is loosened. The Chinese version of Socialist Realism is no longer the only form of expression permitted, as the restriction had caused the most talented artists to turn away from creating propaganda posters. The influence of Western advertising becomes increasingly evident. Even the people on the posters seem less 'Chinese'.

Conspicuously absent is the glorification of political leaders after Hua Guofeng. Deng detested the cult of idolization. Absent also are reactions to the great drama of Tian'anmen Square in 1989. The posters are no longer as central in state propaganda as they had been. In the later 1990s, poster production declines dramatically. The heyday is over.

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54. Wang Baoguang, Smash the 'Gang of Four', 1978

55. Nantong National Cotton Factory No. 1, Yuan Feng, Chairman Hua, the people of all minorities warmly love you!, 1978

56. Xie Mulian, Selling the fruits of a bumper harvest in a friendly manner, 1978

57. Gao Quan, Yang Keshan, Long live the People's Republic of China, 1979

58. Hou Xude, Mama tells me to study Lei Feng, 1982

59. Jiang Jianzhang, Foster a correct spirit, resist the evil spirit, resist corruption, never get involved with it, 1983

60. Yan Ming, Sternly attack criminal activities, 1983

61. Hu Zhenyu, Energetically complete the task of party rectification, bring about a basic turn for the better in party spirit, 1984

62. Gao Qikui, Discussing great plans together, 1985

63. Gao Qikui, Carry forward the revolutionary cause and forge ahead into the future, 1986

64. Yang Wende, Two fishes are auspicious, 1985

65. Lin Chenghan, Better birth, better upbringing, glory, happiness, 1980s.

66. Zhang Zhenhua, Do a good job in family planning to promote economic development, 1986

67. Zhou Yuwei, Carry out family planning. Implement the basic national policy, 1986

68. Wei Yingzhou, I strive to bring glory to the mother country, 1986

69. Wang Bingkun, Youthful dance steps, 1986

70. Peng Ming, The age of smiling, 1988

71. Zhang Yuqing, The bustling Nanjing Road of Shanghai, 1989

72. Peng Bin, Zheng Hongliu, Xu Baozhong, Cui Yong, Advance bravely along the road of socialism with Chinese characteristics, 1989

73. Liu Shumao, Throughout the mother country glad tidings are spreading, 1989

74. He Duojun, Chinese women's volleyball team, 1990

75. Zheng Nian, Party, oh Party, beloved Party, 1991

76. We should do more and engage less in empty talk - Deng Xiaoping, 1992

77. The gods of wealth enter the home from everywhere, wealth, treasures, and peace beckon, 1993

78. Chen Jiahua, Enthusiastically celebrate the return of Hong Kong, 1997

79. Wu Xiangfeng, The return of Hong Kong, One Country - Two Systems, 1997