Art or Politics?

Iconic posters from the Cultural Revolution

We venerate President Mao (End of the 20 century) by Wang WeishuMuseu do Oriente

Chinese Propaganda Posters

Testimonies of the social and political reforms initiated by Mao Zedong during the Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution (1966- 1976).

The Propaganda

The themes most represented at the time are the glorification of the president and communist heroes, the class struggle, the happiness of the people and economic prosperity, the unity of the ethnic minorities, the international revolutions and the power of the army.

Let's read Chairman Mao's books. Let us obey his words (End of the 20 century) by Pang KaMuseu do Oriente

Glory to Mao. The Red Book

One of the most emblematic elements of the posters is the Red Book. Compiled in 1964, it contains thoughts and writings by Mao Zedong and became one of the main instruments of ideological instruction of the Cultural Revolution.

Let us study the good model of Lei Feng and become screws that never rust (End of the 20 century) by Zhang BiwuMuseu do Oriente

Great Heroes. Communists and Proletarians!

Images of martyrs, models of altruism and dedication, good soldiers, committed workers and instructors of young pioneers, become propaganda instruments of the Cultural Revolution.

Red flags of production. Revolution fighters (End of the 20 century) by Liu BingliMuseu do Oriente

Class Struggle. "Comrades, fight to the end!"

The model of the communist individual is that of the proletariat. Farmers and workers, men and women, represented in an apotheotic stance, projecting themselves forward, open chest and an emotional expression in their faces, denounce their voluntaristic and fighting posture.

Stories of Lei Feng (End of the 20 century) by Ren Xin XiMuseu do Oriente

The Way to Happiness and Economic Prosperity

Policies such as the Great Leap Forward and the People’s Communes invoked the social behaviours required to attain happiness, including mutual help and solidarity, a willingness to engage in agricultural and industrial work and a readiness for the military service.

The children of new China (End of the 20 century) by Shen Jialin and othersMuseu do Oriente

We often see children depicted in the posters as a symbol of the party's efforts to promote literacy, development and prosperity.

Shared happiness (End of the 20 century) by Liu WenxiMuseu do Oriente

"Minorities, Unite yourselves!"

According to Mao, the cultural, ethnic and linguistic diversity of the Chinese people should be respected and valued. In 1957, and after several nationalist campaigns for the recognition of the various minorities, 54 distinct ethnic groups were officially identified.

We expel from Africa the old and the new colonialists (End of the 20 century) by Wang Datong and She YongqiaoMuseu do Oriente

Power of the Army and of the People

The global circulation of propaganda posters, the Red Book and other propaganda materials spread the Maoist radicalism in various parts of the globe, especially among young radical and voluntaristic students. 

Never forget the class enemies. Always be a revolutionary (End of the 20 century) by Chen Mou and Dong Shu. Yi Heyuan PoemsMuseu do Oriente

Paradigmatic of the design favoured at the time, Chinese propaganda posters exhibit great aesthetic and artistic value, in addition to their role as instruments of political propaganda.

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
Google apps