Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Cultural Propaganda Poster Center: My interpretation

So, this is the first time I've visited a gallery/show/exhibition or what have you in China. I didn't know we were even going until we had gotten half way into class and our teacher mentioned it. I love classes with trips to places such as these, because I would have never known such a place existed. In any case, we got there and the first thing that one notices is that there are no big banners advertising the place, or signs or anything really. So that was interesting, but the real interesting part is that the gallery is located in the basement of an apartment building. One would really have to be "in the know" to figure out how to get to this place. Once inside, I was taken away by everything that Mr. Yang presented to us. The posters are simply amazing, I mean I've seen the basic U.S. "The Army Wants You!" poster and a few others that I don't really remember, but I don't remember such a large number of them or as powerful depictions. It's truly a great experience to follow the rise of the CCP through their propaganda posters. It certainly gives you an inside eye into what the Chinese population was 'trained' to think. I'll use trained lightly because I don't know the true extent of these posters on every Chinese person, but with what I know of Chinese history and their opinions, I would think the majority would soak it up. I would love to go back and study the American propaganda posters and look at them more thoroughly. I'd also like to see the propaganda art of the Nazi regime, as well as the Soviets and possibly even Britain or France (I'm assuming every country has some sort of propaganda poster history) to see how all these regions compared to each other.

You can really see the national pride and power that is put into these posters that would empower the citizens of China to do whatever they could for their motherland. The old calligraphy posters that were made during the Cultural Revolution were also very interesting and it would be neat to see them translated. I was truly impressed with the quality and relative expansive collection. I hope that a fair range of students / people are able to visit and see this collection, but I am hesitant to believe that many are able to. I would be as blunt to say that this place is something that should be seen during orientation, for everyone who comes here. It's a fantastic experience being able to see what the Chinese people were being told from their government and what most of them inevitably believed.

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