Friday, September 24, 2010
The Propaganda Poster Art Centre is well worth the effort to find.Tucked away as it is not only in a housing complex oddly named President Apartment but also in the basement of Building B of the aforementioned residential block.The guard at the front gate will give you a small business card with directions once you reach the main entrance.Follow your nose and descend down the elevator where the gallery awaits.
There are according to the pamphlet at the gallery some 3000 odd posters from the 50's through to the 70's. There is also some Maoist memorabilia on display such as the collection of busts above .I liked the earlier posters that reminded me almost of Japanese woodblocks with their simplicity and spare use of colour rather than the later lurid almost psychedelic 60's anti US Vietnam era productions.I've included a couple that I liked-the one above and the last one in this entry below.
Not all the posters are political in nature.This being the year of the Expo some posters and photos of life in Shanghai in earlier
times are also on display.There was a lovely almost 2 metre long black and white photo of the Bund in the 1920' or 30's on sale for a not inconsiderable but reasonable sum given its size.Just how to get back home.Not exactly carry on luggage.
The poster below depicts 1930's Shanghai for some people at that time.
The Art Centre is divided into the gallery/showroom where the posters,prints and varied collections of Mao busts are displayed.The posters are grouped historically and there are English language captions explaining each sections significance.
The other section is the shop where you can buy the posters and prints either as originals or copies.There are also a number of related items for sale such as arm bands and caps and other Mao era memorabilia.
The posters represent an important time in the development of China and hopefully they can be preserved as primary historical items that bear witness to those times and be seen by many more people.As I said above the later Korean/Vietnam posters didn't really inspire me as much as the earlier poster and the one below.
The Shanghai Propaganda Poster Art Centre has a website www.shanghaipropagandaart.com.The entrance fee was 20rmb and it can be found at 868 Huashan Road near the intersection with Changle Road.It was a little hike from Changshu Road Metro Station but walking the leafy French Concession streets was an unexpected bonus.