Thursday, March 12, 2009
Shanghai's Propaganda Poster Art Center
This is the kind of place you would have no idea about were it not for a few cryptic references on the internet or a brief mention in city guides-- it's tucked away in the basement of a French Concession apartment complex, where the general public can pass by obliviously.
Yang Pei Ming's collection of posters from the Maoist era occupies the all of two rooms in this basement, each poster glowing with its own brand of communistic solidarity or anti-American sentiment.
Many of the images display a more nuanced perspective in their expression of sympathy with uprisings around the world, be it the revolution in Cuba or, more interestingly, the civil rights struggle within the U.S.
In the gallery's second room are handwritten dazibao posters. To write dazibao was one of four rights guaranteed the Chinese people under Mao's rule-- one could use them to expose neighbors or family members who do not align themselves with the Communist Party, so they paradoxically became an outlet for fear and paranoia, and at the same time served as a way to unite communities.
Propaganda Poster Art Center
Huashan Lu Room BOC 868 / Wukang Lu (cross street)
Tel: +86 (139) 0184-1246 or +86 (21) 6211-1845
Open Daily: 9am-4:30pm
Entrance fee: 20 Rmb