Chinese Propaganda Posters; From Revolution to Modernization
Amsterdam, The Netherlands: The Pepin Press [Feiqing Shuju], 1995. Presumed First Edition, First printing. Trade paperback. Format is approximately 9.5 inches by 12 inches. 216 pages. Illustrated covers. Illustrations (some in color). Index. Contents include: Traditional and Modern Propagation of Behaviour in China, The Propaganda Poster during the Four Modernizations Era, and The Future Symbolized: Propaganda Posters of the Four Modernizations Era. Stefan R. Landsberger (1955) was trained as a sinologist at Leiden University, The Netherlands. Fascinated by totalitarian propaganda, he started to collect Chinese propaganda posters in the 1970s. His collection has grown into one of the largest private collections in the world. Having had access to these posters for such a long time, he has come to consider them as rich primary sources for research on contemporary Chinese developments. Landsberger used them as the basis for his Ph.D. research, which focussed on materials published in the 1980s. The results were published as Chinese Propaganda Posters - From Revolution to Modernization (Amsterdam / Armonk: Pepin Press / M.E. Sharpe, 1996, reprinted in 1998 and 2001). Landsberger has continued his collecting activities, as well as his research on Chinese propaganda. This has led to numerous publications. Landsberger is Emeritus Olfert Dapper Professor of Contemporary Chinese Culture at the University of Amsterdam and he retired as Associate Professor of contemporary Chinese History and Society at Leiden University, The Netherlands. Mao's starring role in Chinese propaganda art. With his smooth, warm, red face which radiated light in all directions, Chairman Mao Zedong was a fixture in Chinese propaganda posters produced between the birth of the People's Republic in 1949 and the early 1980s.
These infamous posters were, in turn, central fixtures in Chinese homes, railway stations, schools, journals, magazines, and just about anywhere else where people were likely to see them. Chairman Mao, portrayed as a stoic superhero (a.k.a. the Great Teacher, the Great Leader, the Great Helmsman, the Supreme Commander), appeared in all kinds of situations (inspecting factories, smoking a cigarette with peasant workers, standing by the Yangzi River in a bathrobe, presiding over the bow of a ship, or floating over a sea of red flags), flanked by strong, healthy, ageless men and "masculinized" women and children wearing baggy, sexless, drab clothing. The goal of each poster was to show the Chinese people what sort of behavior was considered morally correct and how great the future of Communist China would be if everyone followed the same path toward utopia by uniting together. Combining fact and fiction in a way typical of propaganda art, these posters exuded positive vibes and seemed to suggest that Mao was an omnipresent force that would accompany China to happiness and greatness. This book brings together a selection of colorful propaganda artworks and cultural artifacts from photographer Michael Wolf's vast collection of Chinese propaganda posters, many of which are now extremely rare. Michael Wolf has lived in Hong Kong for eight years and works as a photographer for Stern. He collects posters and photographs from the period of the Cultural Revolution till today. Michael Wolf (30 July 1954 – 24 April 2019) was a German born artist and photographer who captured daily life in big cities. His work takes place primarily in Hong Kong and Paris and focuses on architectural patterns and structures, as well as the documentation of human life and interaction in the city. Wolf has published multiple photo books, has had his work exhibited widely around the world, has permanent collections across Germany and the United States, and has won three World Press Photo Awards from 2005 to 2011. Condition: Very good.
Keywords: China, Mao Zedong, Propaganda, Graphic Art, Posters, Modernization, Communism, Target Groups, Symbolism, Imagery