Thursday, March 10, 2011

Response #1: Propaganda Gallery Adrian Lo

Visiting the propaganda gallery was truly inspiring. It helps me
attempt to understand the intentions of the government and the people
during a time of extreme censorship. It was fascinating to see how
drastically the posters changed, in terms of style, artistic value and
message, through the many decades.

What particularly struck was the style in which some of the more
recent posters were drawn. They often used the color red as their main
theme, which is one of the only consistent themes through the many
different decades. I believe that the red is not only used as a symbol
of nationalism (red is the main color of the Chinese flag,) but is
also used to be more eye-catching and bold. Examples:

These two posters have very different messages, one promoting and
supporting farmers turned soldiers and the other saying "long live
Chairman Mao," but they still maintain some similarities in artistic
value and style.

I instantly saw certain resemblances to some famous contemporary work
that is not originated from China. Shepard Fairey, most famous for
creating the Barack Obama's campaign posters, adopts a very similar
style to the above examples. It makes one wonder whether these Chinese
propaganda posters served as his inspiration? Here are some examples
for comparison:

I believe that Fairey definitely used the idea of propaganda posters
but rather put a twist on the intended message, while trying to
maintain it's artistic style and value. His work serves as a good
example of how the Chinese Propaganda posters have influenced
contemporary art globally.

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