Molly E. Reynolds '14, Gettysburg College
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The images on display for Field and Factory, political propaganda used by the Communist Party of China during the 1950s, 60s, and 70s, construct a fictitious world. In perceiving these kinds of illustrations, the audience is asked either to visualize the society in its ideal form or unify in opposition to a national enemy. In the first half of the twentieth century, before the possibilities of the television advertisement were fully realized, posters were one of the most popular forms of propaganda: cheap to produce in mass quantities and simple enough to hang in any public building. The art form’s bold aesthetics encouraged mass mobilization during intense periods of war and political upheaval. The posters in this exhibition represent a myriad of political agendas promoted by the Communist Party of China during its early development after the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. Posters were viewed by all citizens in both the private and public sphere; by abolishing other varieties of personal expression, the Communist Party sought control of its population. Whether the posters were sought after as decoration in the home or transmitters of political policy, they became, by default, the most popular form of imagery in China during that time. By glorifying certain aspects of Chinese life, these images help to shape the elements of national identity for a newly founded modern China. [excerpt]
Schmucker Art Gallery, Gettysburg College
Chinese Revolutionary Posters, Communist Party, political propaganda, People's Republic of China, national identity
Reynolds, Molly E., "Field and Factory: Chinese Revolutionary Posters" (2013). Schmucker Art Catalogs. Book 13.